spending.

investigate how taxpayer dollars
finance public schools

HOW MUCH IS SPENT?

Greenville County Schools, along with all South Carolina school districts, experience significant fluctuations in education spending associated with economic cycles. After plummeting over 14% per student following the Great Recession, spending has increased an average of 2.5% per student annually in inflation-adjusted dollars.

Operational Expenditures

Operational expenditures include those funded by state and federal government as well as the local school district. They do not include construction and associated debt service expenditures

Recession Impact

Greenville County Schools (GCS) experienced a decline of $857 in per-student spending in the wake of the Great Recession before rebounding.

Average Spending

On average, South Carolina school districts spent $1,248 more per student than GCS in 2017.

Trends

When adjusting for inflation, GCS spent $180 more per student in 2018 than in 2008.

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Greenville County Schools Operational Per-Pupil K-12 Expenditures

School Years 2006-2017

HOW IS IT SPENT?

Compared to all school districts in the state, Greenville County Schools spent a higher percentage of its operational expenditures on instruction, instructional support and school management and a lower percentage on operations and district administration.
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Greenville County Schools Operational Expenditures by Category

School Year 2016-17

Sources: In$ite Financial Data, South Carolina Department of Education, various years. (online: https://ed.sc.gov/finance/financial-data/in-ite/)

HOW MUCH IS KEPT IN RESERVE?

The policy of Greenville County Schools is to keep a minimum of one-month (8.3%) of annual operating expenses in reserve. In comparison, the City of Greenville’s policy is 20% of annual expenses while Greenville County’s policy is 25% to 35%.

Why Maintain a Reserve?

Stability

The inflow of operating revenue doesn’t always match the payment of expenses, so reserves allow the district to pay bills without borrowing funds and paying interest on those funds. Due to this mismatch, the reserve amount can vary greatly from month to month.

Protection

The district may also maintain money in reserve to protect against mid-year cuts in state funding. This reserve prevents major disruptions during the school year.

Savings

The school district’s operating reserve policy allows the district to keep a high bond rating and pay less in interest on construction debt service bonds.

Reserve Requirements, Greenville County Schools

Versus Greenville County and City of Greenville
Greenville County (25% - 35%)
City of Greenville (20%)
Greenville County Schools (8.3%)

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