They are responsible for your kids every day, and their education..
But the only thing South Carolina teachers say they are learning is bad business.
The South Carolina Department of Education asked for an across the board 2% raise for teachers, and to raise the starting salary to just over $32,000 a year.
But when Governor Henry McMaster released his 2018 budget proposal, those raises weren’t on school blackboards.
Its a problem we’ve outlined before. Some school districts are short on teachers, or can’t keep them on the job.
6000 teachers in South Carolina didn’t come back to work after at least one year.
Less than 5% of South Carolina high school seniors say they want to take a teaching job.
Statewide, there is an 11% yearly turnover rate on those jobs.
Beaufort County lost 12.5% of their teachers last year. In Hampton County that number was more than 16%. Jasper County 22.5% of county teachers leave.
In Beaufort County, administrators had to institute a “locality stipend”, $1000 a year for every year they stay, up to $5000, just to hold on to the best teachers or keep them in local classrooms.
So where do South Carolina teachers salaries rank?
The average salary is $32,389 in the Palmetto state
In Georgia that number is $38,925
In North Carolina its $42,160 a year.
Two different teachers South Carolina teachers associations say the Governor is sending the wrong message to schools, and parents.
“We will have other opportunities to work with legislators to let them know the importanace of increasing their salaries as well as wityh the Senate to make sure they have it in their budget rewriting,” said Bernadette Hampton, President of SCEA.
“We are in a teacher shortage crisis in South Carolina and we have got to do something to number one get teachers in the profession and keep them when they are here,” said Kathy Maness, President of the Palmetto State Teachers Association.
Maness adds that now is the time teachers need to speak up.
“Every year teachers have seen increases in the retirement contributions, mant teachers have seen increases in rent, they may be working 2-3 jobs and that is just not acceptable, so they need to speak up.”
South Carolina School Superintendent Molly Spearman was the first one to ask for that raise she says its the best way to stem the tide of teachers leaving.
The house will have first crack to change the budget when the review their own in March.