Fork Shoals, Fountain Inn, Mauldin, Moonville, Piedmont, Politics, Schools, Simpsonville

Education Reform Bill Passes

Rep. Garry Smith during House proceedings

After ten months of preparation and research the comprehensive education reform bill passed by a vote of 113-4. Thirteen bipartisan amendments were added to the bill that will now go to the Senate. I am proud of all of the people who contributed, provided input and made this piece of legislation into a true reform bill. Here are some highlights from the bill, asterisks (*) are amendments:

  • Increasing the minimum starting teacher pay to $35,000. EVERY teacher will receive a raise, an average of 4.8%, with a goal of moving teacher pay to the national average within 5 years.
  • Making sure third graders who are promoted to the next grade can read by revising definitions and exemptions in the 2014 Read to Succeed law.
  • Requiring school districts with fewer than 1,000 students to consolidate with neighboring districts to share resources and save money.
  • Dissolving school districts that have four consecutive years of failing scores.
  • Eliminating three standardized tests for students.
  • Requiring school boards to adopt ethics policies and training.
  • *Giving teachers daily, 30-minute planning periods.
  • *Renaming the bill, the S.C. Education, Career, Opportunity, and Access for All Act.
  • *Incentivizing teachers who live and work in rural, high-poverty school districts a refundable income tax credit equal to 100 percent of their property taxes for up to five years
  • *Defining the Student Bill of Rights so that unmet goals do not open the door for legal action.♦

Cell: 864-555-1212
Columbia: 803-734-3045
garrysmith.org • garry@garrysmith.org
twitter.com/garrysmith • facebook.com/ShihanGRS

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