Proposed Teacher Salary Increase

I read with great interest the article in Sunday’s State newspaper about State Superintendent Molly Spearman’s proposal to raise teacher salaries. I applaud her for using the visibility of her position to focus on this critically important issue.

That said, I hope Ms. Spearman and other political leaders also focus on the funding issue. The General Assembly has not funded its legal obligation for K-12 education since 2008. Kershaw County by itself has lost over $70 million during this period. If education had been funded as the law requires all along, we would not be in this pickle now.

Funding teacher salaries and school buses and all the other needs out there will require an overhaul of both the state’s archaic and dysfunctional tax structure and the state’s illogical and frankly discriminatory school funding formula. It’s certainly a good thing to talk about needs…But this conversation must also include how to generate the funding to meet these needs.

Some very viable proposals on tax structure and school funding have been presented over the last several years and gone nowhere. Unless the money issue is addressed, Ms Spearman’s very appropriate idea will just be something that gives teachers more false hope.

I do find it interesting, however, that the folks in Columbia can always find funding for more testing….school buses and teacher salaries not so much.

My view from out here in the field….

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