CCSD rebuilding in 2017-18 school budget

CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCBD) – Charleston County School District approved the first reading of their 2017-2018 annual budget at a meeting Monday night.

District officials describe it as comprehensive and say this the first time since their $18 million dollar shortfall that they have been able to focus on investing.

“It is the first real budget we’ve had in several years that we’ve actually put things back in the classroom versus taking them out,” said CCSD Chief Financial Officer Glenn Stiegman.

The district cut 117 teaching positions in 2016-2017, but is adding 119 teachers in 2017-2018.

“That includes related art teachers that includes string teachers,” said Stiegman, “mostly in the elementary schools because that’s where did the reductions last year.”

CCSD says they would have added about 21 teachers because the population grew, but they were able to add more because they voted to lower the student to teacher ratio in the classroom.

“It gets us back on our feet as far as liquidity in other words we’ve got some money in the bank,” said Stiegman, “I think we’re really coming back financially.”

CCSD says they will add roughly $12 million to their reserves after the cost-cutting measures of 2016. Meanwhile, they estimate the 2017-18 budget will bank $7.5 million when that school year is finished.

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