GREENVILLE, S.C. (WSPA)–The state budget process is well underway, and it includes a boost for teachers statewide. Thanks to both the state and the county budget, Greenville County School teachers will be making a higher salary than ever before.
Twins Noah and Chase go to school in Greenville County, and say they love their teacher.
“She’s like really nice and we have a treasure box and she gives out candy.”
Their mom says the new pay raises are a great thing for educators.
“I think teachers deserve whatever raises they can get. I actually have been subbing since February of last year and the amount of work they’ve done is amazing,” Gina Raneo said.
The Greenville County School district is giving a retroactive 2-percent pay raise for this past year to all employees.
“When the pandemic happened, when the state budget and everything was pretty much frozen out of concern for what COVID-19 would do to local tax revenue,” district spokesperson Tim Waller said.
That’s in addition to another 2-percent raise this coming year.
“So the new fiscal year will also bring a second 2% increase for GCS employees,” Waller said.
On top of that, the school board voted Tuesday night to accept even more money for teachers through the state budget.
“They will receive a $1000 increase in their base pay,” Waller said.
This brings a starting salary up from just more than $41,500 a year to more than $42,000 a year.
“This is a great incentive for them to stay, to continue with their profession. To continue making an impact on people’s lives and also reward them for all of their hard work,” Waller said.
According to the district, keeping teachers around is a big problem.
“Teacher retention is a huge issue, not just for Greenville County, but statewide,” Waller said.
There are hopes these new incentives will help.
“Lots of people have left teaching, discouraged for various reasons seeking out new careers and new opportunities,” Waller said.
And those with children in Greenville County schools agree.
“They need it, the amount of money they spend out of their own pockets, is ridiculous to me,” Raneo said.
The district hired about 450 new teachers last year and is looking to hire about 150 more this coming year.