CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - The first reading of the 2013 Charleston County School district budget has passed with a 6-2 vote.
"It's fantastic, the fact that it was approved by a good margin and that there was no discussion about cutting teacher's salaries down below what was offered," said Patrick Hayes a fourth grade teacher at Drayton Hall.
Hayes said the district was at risk of losing talented teachers to neighboring districts that paid more and have a lower cost of living. He said passing the budget gives teachers a reason to stay.
"It will be that much easier to come in everyday and give our best. That's what we want to do and knowing that we are receiving what we were told," said Hayes.
In the proposed budget all staff salaries will be restored to what they were before a previous pay cut and those on a salary schedule will receive a two step increase with a 2% percent cost of living increase. The total cost of the raises to the district is around $12 million. District staff proposes delaying, paying back debt.
"What we are proposing is a swap, so that we have more money to run the general operating fund that means we would push out the debt almost if you are refinance your home," said Superintendent Dr. Nancy McGinley.
The proposed budget would mean no immediate increase to tax payers.
"It's a delayed tax I'll say. This year things will remain the same but a year later maybe even the following year that's when it will hit taxpayers and they will feel it," said School Board member Reverend Chris Collins.