SC senators consider skipping teacher raises

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) - South Carolina senators might drop the annual pay raise for teachers this year.

The Senate resumed debate Wednesday on the $5 billion spending plan for the fiscal year that begins July 1 and started with changes in education spending.

They rejected Spartanburg Sen. Lee Bright's plans to take $12 million from the First Steps early childhood development program.

Then they discussed eliminating the annual raises that the law now requires for each year of experience a teacher gains.

Pickens Sen. Larry Martin says that would spare school districts from making decisions to lay off some teachers so others could get pay increases. The Senate expects to take action later on Martin's amendment.

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