Following a public hearing held on June 14, 2022, the Lexington County School District One Board of Trustees approved the 2022–23 general fund operating budget of $325,808,206. The approved budget does not include a millage increase.
The budget includes a step increase for employees, increases the beginning step of the teacher salary schedule, maintains the current student-to-teacher ratios, and focuses on retaining and recruiting employees.
The budget meets state and federal requirements and includes inflationary costs. The budget provides support for additional instructional intervention for students, enhanced safety and security measures, and a stand-alone site for the Lexington One Online Learning Academy and The College Center, which will both be housed on the Lexington Middle School campus next school year.
As a reminder, the district’s general fund operating budget provides funding for the district’s day-to-day operations, such as paying salaries, insurance and utilities, and purchasing supplies, materials and services. This is not to be confused with the district’s capital budget, which funds fixed assets such as facilities and equipment.
The general fund budget includes these recruitment and retention strategies:
- provides all employees a step increase (about $3.7 million);
- increases the beginning step of the teacher salary schedule from $37,844 to $41,410 (since 2015, the district has increased the starting teacher salary more than 28%);
- increases bus driver pay based on the state’s budget proviso and raises starting pay to $17 an hour;
- eliminates grade five on the support salary schedule and shifts those employees to grade six;
- provides an additional 1% increase for certified, support and administrative staff ($2.3 million);
- reconciles pay to actual years of experience for employees on the teacher salary schedule;
- expands substitute bonuses to include a $750 bonus for those who work 60 days or more per semester (substitutes who work 45 days per semester currently receive a $500 bonus; substitutes may earn only one bonus amount per semester);
- increases fine arts supplements by 10%;
- expands athletic supplements to cover middle school sports; and
- continues a retention incentive every five years by providing step six pay, for instance, for two years (year five and year six) once a teacher reaches five years of experience.
The district anticipates a 2.3% student increase of 610 students, 68.67 certified and licensed professional FTE, and 39 support and administrator additions.
The district has made preliminary projections for revenue based on historical data, the Senate version of the state budget and preliminary local assessment projections from the county.
The 2022–23 general fund budget is about a 3.6% increase from Lexington District One’s current amended operating budget for 2021–22 of $314,635,616.
The board also approved a budget amendment, which is a net increase of $131,116. This amendment included a $388,724 savings on workers compensation and property and casualty insurance premiums, as well as $519,840 to hire contractual security guards for schools. These armed guards will work in tandem with the current school resource officers to ensure that all schools have full-time security coverage.