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SC Government Schools Sitting On $1 Billion




South Carolina’s “underfunded” government-run schools are sitting on a $1 billion pile of cash – a mountain of money that they (along with the state’s fiscally-liberal politicians and left-leaning mainstream media) would prefer you didn’t know about.

It’s there, though.

Government-run school districts in the Palmetto State have more than $1 billion in cash sitting in their reserve accounts – including $944.2 million that’s “available for district use without any restrictions,” according to the S.C. Department of Education (SCDE).

Also, the $1,063,788,556 in total cash reserves do not include general fund balance data from two of the state’s ninety-four districts (Darlington and Florence 4).

Which means the true total of this “extreme hoarding” will probably wind up being even higher …

Those totals represent each school district’s cash reserves as of June 30, 2016 – the last day of the most recently-concluded fiscal year.  New money began pouring into their coffers on July 1, the first day of the current fiscal year.

Astoundingly, these are the same school districts that habitually complain about being shortchanged in the state budget – even though their recurring funding has seen a whopping 27 percent increase over the last five fiscal years (not adjusting for inflation).

According to budget data obtained from the S.C. Senate, funding for the Palmetto State’s government-run school system soared from $7.7 billion in FY 2011-12 to $9.8 billion in the fiscal year that ended in June.

Take a look …

(Click to view)

(Via S.C. Senate)

Total funding is expected to climb above $10.2 billion during the current fiscal year – and that number doesn’t include all of the unconstitutional borrowing our state’s Republican leaders are proposing.

Has all of this new money improved South Carolina’s academic outcomes?  Hell no.  Of course that hasn’t stopped the gravy train from flowing – especially to poor inner city schools and rural “failure factories.”

Amazing, isn’t it?

Indeed … even more amazing, though, is that proponents of parental choice are having to beg, borrow and steal just to get a special needs scholarship program funded at $12 million per year (although S.C. Senator Tom Davis has introduced a proposal to raise the program’s cap to $50 million in the coming fiscal year).

Homeschool parents?  They are completely out of luck.

This website has reported on these astronomical cash reserves in the past, with government school proponents consistently defending the maintenance of such huge cash stockpiles as the “fiscally conservative” thing to do.

That’s true … assuming you run a business that doesn’t enjoy an automatic, guaranteed stream of (increasing) taxpayer revenue each year.

In this case?  It’s just wasteful …

We just received this data but look for further reports in the days and weeks to come as we break down each district and look at how its reserve funding compares to its annual budget.

Stay tuned …

(Banner via iStock)