understand state, local & federal funds that support our schools
Funding for school operations pays for the expenses to operate individual schools and the district office. It includes the salaries of teachers, principals, and other school staff; classroom materials; technology; library books; building maintenance; and district administration services and salaries.
Greenville County Schools Operating Revenues
Sources: “Education Finance Act Inflation Factor and Base Student Cost,” SC Revenue and Fiscal Affairs Office. (online: https://rfa.sc.gov/data-research/education/education-finance-projections); “General Fund Revenue Forecast, FINAL”, various years. SC Revenue and Fiscal Affairs Office. (online: https://rfa.sc.gov/data-research/state-finances/general-fund-forecast); “Educational Lottery Appropriations,” “Historical Analyses,” SC Revenue and Fiscal Affairs Office. (online: https://rfa.sc.gov/data-research/state-finances); Comprehensive Annual Financial Reports, Greenville County Schools. (online: https://www.greenville.k12.sc.us/Departments/main.asp?titleid=finance); “South Carolina Property Tax Rates by County.” South Carolina Association of Counties. (online: http://www.sccounties.org/property-tax-rates); “Greenville County Schools, 2017-18 Special Projects Budgets,” Greenville County Schools.
School districts sell bonds to fund construction and renovation projects. The cost of these projects are spread over many years. Local property taxes pay for most of the principal and interest to bondholders – the debt payments on school construction.
Greenville County Schools Property Tax Millage Rates
Note: State rank represents comparisons as of Tax Year 2018. State average represents simple average across all school districts. Sources: Comprehensive Annual Financial Reports, Greenville County Schools. (online: https://www.greenville.k12.sc.us); "South Carolina Property Tax Rates by County." South Carolina Association of Counties. (online: http://www.sccounties.org/property-tax-rates); Assessed Valuation and Millage Rates,” South Carolina Department of Education (online: https://ed.sc.gov/finance/financial-data/historical-data/assessed-valuation-and-millage-rates/)
Revenues for School Construction Debt Payments By Source (School Year 2019-20)
In South Carolina the state, and not the school districts, provides the funding to purchase or lease new school buses. The buses are then distributed to school districts where they are maintained by state maintenance shops. South Carolina is the only state with this arrangement.
State Appropriations for Buses (Millions of US$)
Source: "School Bus Purchase Appropriations" Table, "Historical Analyses," South Carolina Revenue and Fiscal Affairs Office. (online: http://rfa.sc.gov/econ/reports)
School Bus Revenues By Source (School Year 2020-21)
Age of Greenville County Schools Bus Fleet
0 to 5 Years
6 to 10 Years
11 to 15 Years
16 to 20 Years
Over 20 Years
Sources: “Historical Analyses,” South Carolina Revenue and Fiscal Affairs Office; South Carolina Department of Education
With recent increases in state funding, the age of the school district bus fleet has greatly improved, and as reported in The Post & Courier, buses prone to catching on fire were off the road by January 2019. While still not meeting the 15-year bus replacement cycle, the 5% of the district bus fleet that is over 15 years old is a big improvement from the 50% at the beginning of the 2014-15 school year.
During the 2019-20 school year, district buses averaged 4.5 breakdowns or failures to start per day–a major decrease from the 7.6 averaged per day two years earlier.