South Carolina Legislature Approves Budget
The South Carolina General Assembly reconvened on June 16 to consider any governor’s vetoes and to complete work on the2015-16 budget. Legislators approved a $6.9 billion general fund budget for 2015-16, up 3.5 percent over 2014-15. General funds to universities are up 5.8 percent to $365.5 million, and for comprehensive and technical education are up 7.2 percent to $132.6 million.
K-12 education operates with $2.6 billion in general funds, up 6.1 percent; this includes over $2.4 billion in aid to school districts (up 5.8 percent). Education Improvement Act (EIA) funding, from an earmarked 1 percent sales tax, is up 5.4 percent to $682.7 million. This includes $69.6 million for the statewide public charter school district (up 23.7 percent), $10.4 million for teacher professional development (up 62.6 percent) and $12.3 million for school district technology spending (up 20.6 percent). It also includes new EIA funding for reading coaches (nearly $5 million) and summer reading camps ($1.5 million); general funds for both programs remain level at $29.5 million and $6 million, respectively.
More details on final actions in South Carolina and other states will appear in the next edition of Legislative Report.