South Carolina launches tool to shed light on school spending
COLUMBIA, S.C. (WRDW/WAGT) - South Carolina has a new tool designed to show you how school districts are spending billions of dollars in taxpayer money.
And it’s available online right now – from your phone or computer – at https://rfa.sc.gov/education-funding-dashboard.
In last year’s budget, state lawmakers implemented a formula intended to simplify how schools are funded.
As part of that – they also required the creation of a new, online dashboard – to show how districts are spending those dollars.
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“When we all got together and determined it was time to have a new, not-so-complicated formula so we could make some sense out of it, we realized that you can’t manage it if you can’t measure it, so this is how we’re measuring it right here,” Gov. Henry McMaster said.
State leaders unveiled the new dashboard Wednesday at the State House.
It allows viewers to see statewide data – like how money is being spent in all districts and where those dollars are coming from.
It also offers district-by-district looks and comparisons between districts on data like average teacher salaries, money in their rainy-day funds and how their revenue per student correlates to test scores.
State Superintendent of Education Ellen Weaver says this also allows the state to take an honest look at where it is – and use this data to figure out how to get where it wants to be – while building trust through transparency.
“Sunshine is always the best disinfectant, and as I’ve shared often with the educators that I’ve been privileged to talk to, when we have nothing to hide, we can put it all out on the table,” Weaver said.
Right now, the dashboard includes data from the 2021-2022 school year.
The state office operating the dashboard says it hopes to add more data as it becomes available – including, possibly, individual school breakdowns.
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