Officials considering potential changes to state’s education funding formula

Officials considering potential changes to state’s education funding formula

COLUMBIA, S.C. (WIS) - State leaders said they are looking into potential changes for how education is funded in South Carolina.

There are concerns surrounding the current funding formula. Gov. Henry McMaster’s office has called it outdated. It's been around for more than forty years.

The South Carolina Education Association said funding really impacts teacher retention.

"You have bigger class sizes. You don't have resources,” said SCEA President Sherry East. “Teachers are working two or three jobs because you can't pay them. You are using your own money for class supplies and you're leaving the profession."

They would like to see a formula that is focused on what essential services students in South Carolina need.

"What steps can we take to make sure you can get that into the classroom to produce the kind of student you want walking across the stage?" East said.

The new model proposed by the Revenue and Fiscal Affairs Office changes the property tax index to 75 mills across all districts. According to the report, implementing this proposed funding model would redistribute more than $170 million among school districts.

Fifty-five school districts would see an increase in the amount they receive while 26 school districts would see less money.

"There's not a district out there that can stand to lose a penny,” East said. “That will impact some services they are already providing."

According to the report, by not making this change, it would continue the current practice of providing varying levels of state support to each district.

A panel of Senators will explore education funding options and possible changes to the formula later this month.

You can read the full report from the Revenue and Fiscal Affairs Office below.

Education Funding Model Full Report by WIS Digital News Staff on Scribd

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