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No Tax Increase Required to Fund Horry County Schools in FY 2023

The Horry County Board of Education gave final approval to the 2022-2023 Superintendent’s Comprehensive Budget on June 6, 2022. Included in the Comprehensive Budget is the General Fund which is the primary operating fund of the District. Included in the General Fund are the general operating costs of the school district, such as salaries, utilities, maintenance, and instructional costs, totaling $522.4 million but does not call for a tax increase. Additional revenue needed to meet the approved budget included the utilization of $6.8 million of the unassigned fund balance. The projected fund balance on June 30, 2022, for the General Fund, is expected to be $147.3 million. This amount maintains the Board established a minimum of 15% and provides adequate reserves for 2022-2023.

Since the approval of Act 388 in 2008, school districts no longer receive operational property taxes from owner-occupied homes.  As a result, local revenue is primarily generated by property taxes levied on businesses, industries, vehicles, and other personal property.

Notable highlights in the General Fund budget include:

  • Total Budget: $890,898,248
  • All regular school district employees, including teachers, can expect a STEP (longevity) increase or a 2% raise. Total cost: $7.3 million (General Fund)
  • A $2,000 salary increase for teachers, speech therapists, occupational/physical therapists, orientation/mobility instructors, audiologists, psychologists, and school nurses. Total cost: $8.9 million (General Fund)
  • A 8% state-mandated salary base increase for bus drivers. Total cost: $671,651.
  • An 18.1% increase in employer group health insurance. Total cost: $3.7 million.
  • A 1.25% increase in employer retirement rate. Total cost: $3.5 million.
  • Seek an outside firm/consultant to review HCS safety and security procedures and make recommendations to the Board. Total cost: Up to $150,000.
  • Additional positions/changes
    • Risk Manager – Total cost including benefits: $125,000
    • ESOL – 6.5 teachers (SCDE recommends a ratio of 1:60). This increase will allow the district to meet state requirements. Total cost including benefits: $567,554
    • Rehabilitative Behavioral Health Services (RBHS) – 5 counselors– SHS (2), and (.5) to NMBMS, NMBHS, FMS, MBPS, CFES, and ROES. Additional positions due to increase in caseload. Total cost including benefits: $363,555
    • Health Services – 3 flex nurses and 2 Nursing Supervisor 1 positions– Flex nurses will serve the following schools: SJIS, WMS, AES, FBES, LES, and Lakewood Elementary School. Total cost including benefits: $352,518
    • Technology – 9 positions– Help Desk (1 HD manager, 2 HD Technician 1), 1- network specialist, 1-systems administrator, and 4-PDL device technicians 1. Total cost including benefits: $884,135
    • Technology –additional funding for performance and security (software and hardware)- Total cost: $330,000
    • Custodians – 6- part-time @ SCES, OBES, CFHS, LHS, NMBHS, and MBHS – 2 full time positions @ AHS and CHS.
    • Increase custodial days from 190 to 220-day contract. This will eliminate the need to pay positive pay for the summer cleaning of each school. Total cost: $750,000.
    • Athletics: Coaching Supplement Increase - Supplements have not been adjusted in the past eight years and HCS is currently below average in 86% of our coaching positions. This is phase 1 of the proposed 3-year plan and will adjust supplements to meet the average. Total cost: $1.1 million.

The expenditure side of the General Fund budget supports salaries and benefits for 3,804 professional positions and 1,765 classified positions. 86.5% of the entire operating budget is dedicated to employee compensation (salaries and benefits). The remaining 13.5% is committed to purchasing supplies, materials, utilities, technology, the payment to public charter schools, and other operational expenditures.