EDITOR’S NOTE: The EOC held a full meeting today at 1:00 p.m. at the Blatt Building in Columbia. Recommendations to the budget were made at this meeting.
Columbia – As required by state law, the Education Oversight Committee (EOC) today approved budget recommendations for Fiscal Year 2022-23. These recommendations focus on the revenues generated by the one-cent sales tax, the Education Improvement Act. The committee’s recommendations are dedicated to improving access to high quality data to inform decisions; obtaining quality materials focused on college- and career-readiness; and implementing high-quality professional learning for teachers. These recommendations will be forwarded to the Governor and General Assembly for their consideration in the upcoming budget deliberations.
Members met throughout the fall, reviewing and hearing public comment programs on budget needs and priorities. In Fiscal Year 2022-23, the penny sales tax is expected to generate an estimated $990 million dollars dedicated solely to public education. For Fiscal Year 2021-22, the current fiscal year, there is also a surplus of $89.1 million of non-recurring dollars.
“Student academic performance has declined significantly due to the disruptive impact of the pandemic, stated Dr. Bob Couch, chair of subcommittee that brought forth the recommendation to the EOC and the principal of Anderson Institute of Technology, an upstate Career Center. “We are fortunate to have a positive economic climate now, so we must implement reasonable, quality approaches to help students and teachers move forward and improve outcomes for the young people who need us.”
In its recommendations, the EOC also concurred with the SC Department of Education (SCDE) in recommending that teacher salaries be increased by 2.2 percent in Fiscal Year 2022-23 using state General Funds. To further support teachers, the EOC recommended additional money be allocated from within EIA to support the teacher supply stipend of $275.
The Committee’s budget recommendations for the EIA are summarized as follows:
Access to high quality data to inform decisions
Access to quality materials for college-and career-readiness
Access to high quality professional learning for teachers
The SC Education Oversight Committee is an independent, non-partisan group made up of 18 educators, business persons, and elected leaders. Created in 1998, the committee is dedicated to reporting facts, measuring change, and promoting progress within South Carolina’s education system.