Editor’s note: This story has been updated to include a response from the Berkeley County School District.
MOUNT PLEASANT, S.C. (WCBD) – SC for Ed, a teacher advocacy group here in South Carolina is calling on teachers to ‘Stand Up and Step Out’ to state lawmakers and demand that funding issues in the state be addressed.
This, in an effort, to get the State House of Representatives to pass a budget that would unfreeze the teacher’s annual pay step.
The organization is asking that teachers take a personal day on Wednesday, September 23rd as a call to action.
According to the SC for Ed’s Facebook page, ‘cuts for teachers are cuts for students.’ The post goes on to say that refusing to address funding could create bigger problems down the line such as teacher furloughs or increasing dangous class sizes.
News 2 reached out to each Lowcountry school district to find out if there are any anticipated absences planned for Wednesday.
Charleston County School District spokesperson Andy Pruitt said there are a total of 40 planned teacher absences scheduled for Wednesday.
News 2 cannot confirm if the 40 absences mentioned above are in relation to the SC for ED’s initiative, however, Pruitt said the district does have substitutes on call for any additional call-outs and plans in place to fill any absences.
A spokeswoman for the Berkeley County School District said 12 teachers requested to take a personal day. However, the district is unable to confirm the reason for each individual request.
In Dorchester District 2, spokeswoman Patricia Raynor said via email, “I spoke with Personnel this afternoon. Teachers requesting personal leave at this time is not a large number but I do not have an exact count. In fact, they reported there were more teachers that requested leave today than tomorrow.”
Finally, Dorchester District 4’s Director of Student Support Services, Nancy Britt-Stevens, Ed.D said as of Tuesday afternoon, there was only one documented individual scheduled to be out on Wednesday for the SC for Ed demonstration.
Britt-Stevens went on to say via email, “During these times of blended and virtual learning, coverage for a teacher’s absence will consist of he or she leaving an assignment for face to face students monitored by a substitute teacher and all others working through hybrid would receive work through the learning management systems Edgenuity K through 5, Edmentum 6 through 12 or google classroom.”
According to SC for Ed’s twitter page, teachers are asked to wear red on Wednesday, reach out to their local representatives, and ultimately push for the budget to be sent to the House of Representatives and passed.
SC for Ed’s Facebook page says the day of action will begin at 9 a.m. with a Facebook live that will address the current issues, why the organization is advocating, and what the conversation should be like with representatives.
Starting at 10 a.m. the organization will kick off several phon-a-thon events starting with Region 1 that includes Beaufort, Jasper, Hampton, Colleton, Charleston, Dorchester, and Berkeley counties.
A final facebook live check-in is expected to happen at approximately 2:30 Wednesday afternoon.
To learn more about the agenda or the efforts behind the organization, click here.