Bill raises teachers' salaries to national average

COLUMBIA, SC (AP) - A bill raising teachers' salaries to the national average has been introduced in the South Carolina Senate.
The idea is being pushed by Gov. Nikki Haley's Democratic opponent, Sen. Vincent Sheheen of Camden. He's a co-sponsor of the measure that would phase in the increase over five years.
Five Democrats and four Republicans have signed on to the bill filed Wednesday.
According to the U.S. Department of Education, the average salary for teachers nationwide in school year 2010-11 was $56,069. Teachers in South Carolina are expected to earn, on average, more than $9,000 less than that this year.
Democratic Sen. Darrell Jackson of Columbia is the main sponsor. He says paying teachers what they deserve is critical to the state's success.
State budget officials have not yet calculated the cost.

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