Classrooms crowded out of SC education funding

June 21, 2019

Oran P. Smith, Ph.D

Senior Fellow

With over 70 sources of money, South Carolina’s system for funding our public schools is one of the most complicated in the country! That’s why this illustration is so powerful—total spending on programs is significant and administrative expenses are growing. But dollars tied to the needs of individual students (Base Student Cost) and classrooms is low.

In 2019, lawmakers increased funding for teacher salaries, resource officers, mental health counselors, and school infrastructure (to name a few).

But we must address the funding system in 2020.

As we wrote in “South Carolina schools are not underfunded,” while South Carolina administrative expenditures showed an increase of 186% between 1993 and 2014, Base Student Cost is less than 20% of total education spending.

It is time we spend smart, not more!

Let all state dollars follow the child, not programs. What a significant step that would be toward allowing principals and teachers to decide how to spend education resources, not bureaucrats.


Source: Fast Facts: Education Spending Trends at a Glance