Education Reform Plan proposed by House Speaker

Very interested in your thoughts on this. Obviously, in an 84 page bill there will be many things to like and probably some things to not like. Teachers, students, parents – I would love your input. Over the next several weeks, I’ll be meeting with groups and others to hear from you. As always, please give me your honest, informed feedback!

From MAAYAN SCHECHTER, THE STATE

Almost a year after hundreds of S.C. public-school teachers rallied outside the State House calling for higher wages, the General Assembly could be poised to spend $270 million to raise teacher pay.

Lawmakers also could force consolidation of at least eight of the state’s 81 poor, rural school districts that have less than 1,000 students each, eliminate three state-mandated tests and give lottery scholarships to students pursuing certificates to work in industry.

Powerful S.C. House Speaker Jay Lucas, R-Darlington, rolled out his much-anticipated 84-page education reform proposal Thursday, including raising the pay of new teachers to $35,000 a year — up from $32,000 — and spending millions more to raise teacher salaries.

Republican Gov. Henry McMaster, who supports Lucas’ plan, has asked lawmakers to spend nearly $155 million in the state’s budget that starts July 1 to raise teacher pay by 5 percent, an increase supported by the S.C. Department of Education and the state’s two teachers groups.

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