Letter To General Assembly Delegation Members

Dear Delegation Members:

As your budget deliberations begin, I wanted to communicate my concerns about Base Student Cost.

Because of the severe cuts made to schools during the downturn, Base Student Cost is currently about $500 below what is required by law. After the formulas are applied, restoring Base Student Cost to the legally-required level would mean about $5 million for Kershaw County.

$5 million would enable us to restore many of the programs, staff, and services eliminated during the downturn. More importantly, these funds would allow us to restore salaries, especially for teachers, back to a reasonably competitive level. During the downturn, Kershaw County was forced to freeze salaries for two years. This and cuts to areas like National Board stipends have made us significantly less competitive in terms of attracting and retaining teachers.

I was particularly disappointed that Governor Haley is only recommending an $80 increase in Base Student Cost. I hope the General Assembly will reconsider this issue. When I joined superintendents from throughout South Carolina at a briefing from Governor Haley about her education proposals, there was widespread concern about Base Student Cost among my colleagues.

I understand and appreciate the many challenges you face during this session. I hope you will give serious consideration to the issue of Base Student Cost.

Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions or need any additional information. Thank you for your dedicated service to our state.






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