SC lawmakers pass planned raises for state teachers

SC lawmakers pass planned raises for state teachers
A plan to get annual increases for teachers is now on its way to Gov. Henry McMaster’s desk. (Source: Live 5/File)

COLUMBIA, S.C. (WCSC) - A plan to get annual increases for teachers is now on its way to Gov. Henry McMaster’s desk.

The state’s House passed the Senate’s version of the bill Wednesday afternoon in a 120-0 vote.

Normally, state teachers get a salary increase every year. But because of the pandemic, the roughly 2% increase for 2020-2021 was put on hold.

Palmetto State Teachers Association Director of Governmental Affairs Patrick Kelly says the passing of the bill was a key priority for his association.

“This is an exciting moment for educators across South Carolina, this is something that was a key priority for our association this year,” Kelly said. “This is a key step by the state to support our educators and we’re just excited to see this bill getting to the finish line so teachers can receive the step increases they’re entitled to this year.”

Kelly also credited the legislators for getting the raises passed.

“Well, I think that a lot of credit needs to go to Speaker Lucas, to Chairman Smith and the Ways and Means Committee. They made this a priority,” Kelly said. “They said last fall when they decided to freeze teacher step increases because of the economic impact of the pandemic that they viewed the increases as a promise the state makes to educators and they would fully fund it if revenues were available to start this session.”

When McMaster signs it, educators are expected to see back pay hit their accounts by the end of the school year.

This is a developing story. Check back for updates.

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