COLUMBIA, SC (AP) - A Senate panel will consider increasing teachers' salaries and strengthening student loan programs as a way to elevate the profession in South Carolina.
The newly created Senate Committee on Public School Teachers took testimony Tuesday on how the state can encourage more students to become public school teachers, keep good teachers in the classroom and more quickly remove incompetent teachers.
According to the Center for Educator Recruitment, Retention and Advancement, South Carolina's colleges are not producing enough teachers to fill classroom vacancies. Agency director Jane Turner says there are 4,000 openings yearly, but only 2,000 graduates to fill them.
Turner says many teachers leave the profession after a few years.
She suggests revising a college loan forgiveness program to ensure it benefits students and schools as intended.