Many parents (and even many lawmakers) are confused about the size and scope of public spending on government schools in South Carolina.
Money for public schools comes from three sources (local, state, and federal taxes) and filters down to the classroom through a convoluted array of “programs” and “categories” leaving a mere 43 cents per dollar for classroom instruction.
Regular Voice readers will recall that in South Carolina there is no discernible correlation between per-student funding levels and student achievement, and that real School Choice is the only proven reform that will both save money and improve student achievement.
All that said, many parents and taxpayers are still surprised to hear that public schools across South Carolina will be funded at an average of $11,242 per child this year. Compare that to just $8,500 last year in North Carolina.
From the South Carolina Appropriations Bill for fiscal year 2009-2010:
The base student cost for the current fiscal year for Part IA has been determined to be $2,034 and the base student cost for Part III has been determined to be $300 for a total base student cost of $2,334. In Fiscal Year 2009-10, the total pupil count is projected to be 691,816. The average per pupil funding is projected to be $4,153 state, $1,296 federal, and $5,792 local. This is an average total funding level of $11,242 excluding revenues of local bond issues.
Here is the district-by-district listing of local, state, and federal allocations for each of the 85 public school districts:
In Fiscal Year 2009-10, the Abbeville School District total pupil count is projected to be 2,911. The per pupil funding is projected to be $6,059 state, $1,616 federal, and $3,604 local. This is a total projected funding level of $11,279 excluding revenues of local bond issues.
In Fiscal Year 2009-10, the Aiken School District total pupil count is projected to be 23,640. The per pupil funding is projected to be $4,084 state, $1,225 federal, and $3,673 local. This is a total projected funding level of $8,982 excluding revenues of local bond issues. Continue reading