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SC education budget proposal to increase salaries for teachers and bus drivers

Seventy-four percent of the budget will go toward personnel and staffing.

COLUMBIA, S.C. — State Superintendent of Education Ellen Weaver, On Tuesday,  presented a proposed budget for education at the State House that detailed multiple key funding plans. 

She also answered questions about bus driver shortages across the state.

In a House Ways and Means Committee meeting, Superintendent of Education Ellen Weaver presented her proposed budget - much of it dedicated to personnel and staffing shortage solutions.

“Fifty-two percent of what’s being requested is direct personnel salaries and support for teachers and bus drivers," Weaver said. "These are the people who are on the front lines serving our students and it’s critical that we take care of them."

Another part of the budget would go toward reworking teacher training to be more detailed. But a concern with training would be removing teachers from the classroom for extended periods.

“But, in small rural school districts, we can’t have 10 teachers out of an elementary school because can’t find subs,” Representative Jackie Hayes said.

Weaver said that, because of this, $52 million is dedicated to teacher salary increases.

Of the $52 million, $12 million will include bus drivers as school districts across the state continue to struggle filling positions.

“Bus driver, I totally agree. Now we were 700 bus drivers short, I think, last year," Representative Bill Whitmire said. "Is that improved? I know one thing you face is, you give them their CDL and then UPS hires them. And you can’t compete with what they’re paying," 

The total budget amounts to more than $254 million. There will be continued discussion before the final budget is approved.

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