COLUMBIA (AP) – The state’s Department of Education is calling on South Carolina lawmakers to raise all teachers’ salaries by 2% next school year.
The agency’s budget request also says executives want to change teachers’ pay in their first five years of service so that they get the full annual cost of living increases given to all teachers, according to The State newspaper.
The 2% increase for teachers would give them between $ 800 and $ 1,700 more per year, depending on the number of years they have worked and their level of education.
The ministry is also asking for money to increase the wages of school bus drivers by at least 5%.
This would increase the minimum wage for drivers from $ 8.44 an hour to at least $ 8.86 an hour. Many districts have invested extra money in wages, raising wages up to $ 25 an hour, Education Department spokesman Ryan Brown said.
School districts compete for drivers with trucking companies that can pay more, Brown said.
“Teacher salaries are an issue, but if you can’t get the kids to school, it doesn’t really matter,” Brown said.
The General Assembly will consider the requests when they return in January.