Thousands of teachers preparing to rally at State House

Thousands of teachers preparing to rally at State House

COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) - Teachers, friends, and family are preparing to rally at the State House Wednesday.

They’ll be raising awareness about various issues like teacher pay, retention, and the push for more mental health counselors in schools.

They will also be talking about reducing class sizes and the amount of testing in schools. Some teachers say these are the main reasons some are leaving the profession.

Kathy Maness is the Executive Director for the Palmetto State Teachers Association, she said, “Teachers aren’t able to use as much creativity as back then.”

Some teachers have said preparing students for certain assessments cuts into their actual instruction time. “Because that’s not part of the standard or I have to make sure I get through to everything so it's fair for my student when testing comes.”

So far, it seems like lawmakers have listened to educators on that front. Both versions of the education reform bill have language that would suspend some statewide tests. Those bills probably won’t pass this year, but lawmakers have added proposals to the budget plan that suspend these tests.

Like the elementary and middle school social study assessments and an 8th-grade science test.

Something that might not change this year, is classroom size.

“In many schools and in many districts there are too many students in the classroom,” Maness said.

The Palmetto State Teachers Association said after Wednesday’s rally, teachers, friends, and family need to continue to advocate for change. “Our sleeping giant is starting to wake up and our teachers are starting to use their voices. And I hope the members of the general assembly will listen because they are the experts,” Maness said.

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