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SC for Ed, group who lobbied for teachers, taking 'indefinite pause'

The group said they'll no longer respond to email or direct inquiries or plan events.

COLUMBIA, S.C. — A volunteer group that advocates for teachers in South Carolina says they're scaling back nearly all of their efforts as an organization.

SC for ED posted a letter to its Facebook page on Monday explaining their decision, saying their board had decided to "indefinitely pause' their activities. The organization, which describes themselves as a group of unpaid teacher volunteers, said they have been a source of solidarity between teachers and parents. But while they hope that continues, they said it will take more than them.

"It has become clear that a small group of volunteers cannot maintain that solidarity alone, and to try to do so leads to overly slow progress at best, and burnout at worst," they wrote. 

The group said they'll still maintain their social media accounts but will no longer respond to email or direct inquiries or plan events. 

"It has never been our goal to advocate for teachers; rather, we have always wanted teachers to advocate for themselves, and it has never been more crucial that they do so. We also hope that organizations with greater resources will continue to do this work." 

SC for ED was founded by Lisa Ellis, a public school teacher. It has organized several events over the years and spoke to the media numerous times on behalf of better teacher pay, smaller classrooms, and more funding. The largest event they put together was 2019's "All Out May 1" which gathered 10,000 teachers, staff, and supports at the South Carolina State House to lobby lawmakers. 

In July of 2020, during the height of the pandemic, the group held a rally with cars to push for a virtual return to classrooms that year rather than in-person teaching. 

The group said they hope that people who support their efforts contribute to other groups, such as SC ACLU and Public Education Partners.

"Recent years have brought increasingly harmful and discouraging attacks on the rights of students, teachers, and families--including the failure to equitably fund schools, the promotion of anti-teacher conspiracy theories, and the passage of voucher bills that redirect funds away from our community public schools and towards unaccountable private entities. Nonetheless, we continue to hope for a better future for our state and especially for its children." 

Posted by SC for Ed on Monday, June 5, 2023

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