The numbers behind the CCSD teacher’s pay raise request

Charleston, South Carolina – Last week, we reported that Charleston County School District is finally considering to significantly raise teachers’ pay. The initiative came the school district, just like hundreds of school districts nationwide, faced challenges to keep existing and attract new teacher especially since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic. Most of those involved in the process had said that pay raise is the first into solving the issue with teacher shortages in the school district.

The widespread teacher shortage across South Carolina has continued to persist despite various efforts to address the issue. Even with measures such as hiring part-time teachers and offering incentives to attract potential candidates, the situation has shown little improvement. In response, a task force within the Charleston County School District (CCSD) has been diligently working towards a solution, proposing a salary schedule for board members to consider for the upcoming academic year of 2023-24. The proposed increase in teacher pay is aimed at not only retaining current educators but also attracting new qualified teachers to join the district.

Charleston County School District board will hold a meeting Monday night when the task force is expected to explain to the members why teachers should get a significant pay raise. According to the available information, the minimum proposed increase for starting salary should be at least 35% all with the effort to make teachers able to afford to live in the community where they teach.

Teachers in Charleston have been under constant pressure from rising real estate prices in the area in recent year, something that was additionally fueled by the skyrocketing inflation and rising prices on literally everything in last two years. Due to these factors, many teachers were forced to seek accommodation and housing out of town.

The current salary structure for new teachers in Charleston County School District (CCSD) has left many struggling to make ends meet. A recent report by the CCSD task force revealed that a freshly-hired 22-year-old teacher with a bachelor’s degree earns an annual salary of $43,146. Unfortunately, this is barely enough to cover the cost of living in the Charleston area, even when sharing a two-bedroom, two-bathroom apartment with a roommate. In fact, at the end of each month, these new teachers are left with a deficit of $155 under the current pay structure.

This financial burden is even more significant for experienced teachers who have to contend with mortgages and other expenses. The issue of affordable housing has become a pressing concern for many educators in the area, as renting costs often exceed 30% of their monthly income, making it difficult to make ends meet.

Recognizing this crisis, the CCSD task force has taken steps to address the issue by proposing a new salary schedule for board members to consider. The task force hopes that by fixing this calculation, they’ll be able to retain good teachers in the school district, which they say they are losing faster than they can replace.

We will provide an update of the story once more details after the CCSD board meeting are provided.

Stay with the Charleston Press.

Cindy Carey


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