COLUMBIA, S.C. — Governor Henry McMaster, along with S.C. House Speaker Jay Lucas, S.C. Superintendent Molly Spearman propose a $3,000 pay raise for South Carolina's public school teachers.
This $211 million investment would go to the state's 52,733 public school teachers.
According to a release, the proposed increase will be a cornerstone of the governor’s FY 20/21 Executive Budget, which will be announced in January 2020.
South Carolina currently ranks 41 nationally for teacher's salaries. This raise would put the state in the top 25 and would be a 26 percent increase in the minimum salary for teachers: from $30,000 to $38,000.
“By continuing to invest in our classroom teachers, we are sending a strong message about South Carolina across the nation and the globe,” said Gov. Henry McMaster. “We are taking bold steps in education reform to produce the next generation’s workforce and to maintain our state’s competitive advantage for new jobs and investment.”
“There can be no doubt that a strong economy requires a strong education system and that a strong education system requires strong investment,” said S.C. House Speaker Jay Lucas. “An essential part of that investment must be attracting and retaining top flight teachers so that we can remain competitive and recruit the best graduates to enter education. The House has spent an enormous amount of time listening to teachers across this state, and we understand their concerns. This proposal demonstrates that we’ve heard them loud and clear. I am proud to stand with Governor McMaster and support our teachers by putting forward a budget prioritizing public education - especially the women and men who play the most important role in it.”
“There is no job more critical to the success of our state than that of our teachers who are responsible for shaping the minds of the next generation of leaders,” said S.C. Superintendent of Education Molly Spearman. “They deserve a competitive salary and to be treated as professionals. This investment, coupled with meaningful education reform, is one that will pay dividends for South Carolina and shows that we are committed to moving education in the right direction.”
The Board for SC for Ed issued a statement after the governor's press conference, " The Board of SC for Ed is encouraged by the Governor's request for an increase in teacher pay during the December 10, 2019 press conference. We are hopeful that this stems from a recognition of the pay gap that has existed for many years between the teachers of South Carolina and the rest of the country. We would also hope the the Governor and our Legislators understand that inadequate pay is just one of the issue facing South Carolina teachers today, and they will listen to the input of teachers' voices as they look for solutions to overcrowded classrooms, underfunded school buildings and unnecessary testing that takes away from teaching and learning. Additionally, we are hopeful that all state and district workers will receive a raise with the additional recurring funds that will now be added to our state budget, as each is vital to our state's well being. We look forward to the continued responsiveness to these long overdue needs."