South Carolina’s system of funding public schools is broken, a fact we have recognized, studied and argued in court for more than a decade. It is hugely complex, a tangle of laws and funding streams that few people can begin to unravel. It is inadequate and unstable, leaving schools at the mercy of fluctuating state resources and restricting their ability to make up the difference with local revenues. SCSBA has teamed up with several state educational organizations to develop a comprehensive tax and funding reform plan that resolves these longstanding problems, creating a system that is simpler, more adequate and fairer to all districts.
The proposal, called The South Carolina Jobs, Education and Tax Act (SCJET), would generate funding for schools in two ways. First, the plan would establish a uniform statewide tax rate of 100 mills on taxable property (excluding homestead and owner-occupied property), immediately lowering rates in 78 of the state’s 81 districts. Second, funding from more than 70 separate state revenue streams, including the Education Finance Act, the Homestead Exemption Fund, and some Education Improvement Act funds, would be rolled up into a single source.
Read more about SCJET (PDF)
- SCJET: PowerPoint (PPT)
- SCJET media coverage: The Sun News: “Good start to school funding conversation” (PDF)
- SCJET media coverage: GoUpstate.com: “New proposal would restructure state education funding” (PDF)
- SCJET media coverage: Spartanburg Herald: “School groups present a starting point for debate over new system” (PDF)
- SCJET media coverage: The State: “Plan to equalize state’s K-12 spending in development” (PDF)
- SCJET media coverage: The Sun News: “Locals need more information on proposed funding plan” (PDF)
Advocacy focus: Education funding reform