Senate bill could add five extra work days for teachers

VIDEO: Senate bill could add five extra work days for teachers

CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - A bill that could change education in South Carolina is pushing through to the Senate floor.

Last Thursday, the Senate Education Committee passed its own version of an education reform bill. In it is a provision that was approved that would require teachers to work an additional five days a year if lawmakers find the money to pay for it.

Lawmakers say the extra work days would give teachers more prep time for things like planning and grading.

Some teachers say this isn’t what they asked for.

Trever Etminan, a teacher with SC for ED, says teachers already have 10 days in their contract which can be used for things like that. Instead of adding additional days, the organization has been asking to use some of the days built into their contract as teacher work days.

"If the legislature would just allocate our planning time to us and protect it for teachers, that would get us all the work time that teachers in this state could possibly need," Etminan said.

The provision could complicate a proposal from Gov. Henry McMaster and House leaders that would give all public school teachers in the state a $3,000 pay raise.

Sen. Mike Fanning believes the education committee’s education reform bill is a slap on the face for teachers.

“Just seven months ago, ten thousand teachers marched in large against this very bill. A bill that they didn’t have input in from the beginning,” Fanning said. “What they’ve done is simply put lipstick on a pig, and that’s what this so called raise for additional days is, but the bill is still a pig.”

The committee’s work requirement amendment to the bill requires a 2.6% raise to go into effect, which would pay for the five days.

Fanning says this will be the first bill that will be read across the Senate floor when lawmakers go back to Columbia on Jan. 14.

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