GREENVILLE COUNTY, S.C. (WSPA) – Thousands of school employees in Greenville County will get raises for the next school year. The board approved the almost $865,000,000 budget Monday night. The vote was 9 to 3.

It was a packed school board meeting Monday night, as hours of public comment and conversation led to the majority of the Board of Trustees voting in favor of the 2023/2024 budget.  

“It provides pay and salary increases for the 11,000 employees we have in Greenville County,” said board member, Chuck Saylors.

The budget does impact residents’ taxes.

“The 9 mills that we’re asking for is all that we need, that’s required, to make sure we give our employees the increase they deserve and also, the cover for the growth in schools,” said Saylors.

It does not affect the tax you pay on your home.

“If you own a vehicle, camper, boat, or airplane, you will see your tax bill rise. It’s proportional to the value of the vehicle,” said Saylors.

It does affect taxes on vehicles, businesses, and second homes. Not everyone at the meeting was on board with the tax increase.

“We have many taxpayers on fixed income, they will not be able to come up with the tax increase. Plus, God forbid, if we have a recession, no businesses will be able to stand,” said a concerned community member.

“I think we do more with less, just like every family does when they are trying to make ends meet,” said a resident.

Even some board members were opposed.

“Drastic increases in prices of necessities, such as food, gas, electricity, etc. I just don’t think this is a time to be doing a tax increase,” said board member, Jeff Cochran.

The budget includes a step increase for all teachers and up to a 3.5% increase for eligible non-teaching positions.

{Terrell Brown, Attended Meeting}

“It’s an investment to make sure we keep teachers in this profession and also, keep this community and the students as the priority,” said Terrell Brown, who attended the meeting.

“Those teachers, like us, who are staying are being so negatively affected, that the burnout rates are continuing to grow as we carry the weight of those who are leaving. We really appreciate the district administration prioritization and commitment to valuing our teachers and staff,” said Kaitlyn Scott, a teacher with the district.

Board members said this funding also helps to preserve current class sizes while keeping up with student growth. Funds will also go towards enhancing security measures and paid parental leave.

All of this goes into effect on July 1. To read the budget in more detail, click here.