Horry County Schools looks to retain teachers amid student growth

Grand Strand

HORRY COUNTY, SC (WBTW) – Horry County Schools projects they’ll see roughly 1000 more students this school year, and with the growth, they’ll need enough teachers and staff to keep up. 

The county built five new schools to address the increase in students, and all but Socastee Middle opened during the 2017-2018 school year. Socastee Middle is set to open in the fall, but Lisa Bourcier with Horry County Schools said there is still a lot of work to do when it comes to overcrowding. 

She said they’re seeing the most growth in Carolina Forest, on the South Strand, and in North Myrtle Beach. With more kids coming to the school district, hiring and keeping current teachers is necessary.

In the new South Carolina budget, lawmakers approved a one-percent salary increase for all teachers. On top of that, Horry County Schools passed a budget including a two-percent raise for all employees.

At this year’s teacher recruitment fair, Bourcier said they saw a 21-percent increase in the amount of people looking to work with Horry County Schools. Bourcier said the pay raise along with new marketing strategies will help manage the increase in students and get more teachers to the area. 

In addition to raising salaries, the school district added five new registrar positions to handle all academic records. “We have a lot ot these schools in our district where there’s a lot of students coming and going,” said Bourcier. “A lot of records we’re taking in and transferring out, when they transfer schools, so those are key positions we added this year because of growth.” 

She said they are still working on implementing a five-year plan to address the expected growth in the future. 

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