CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCBD) – A South Carolina teachers group, SC for ED, is encouraged teachers to call out sick on Wednesday to draw attention to their salaries and a new education budget. This, in an effort to get lawmakers to pass the education budget.
SC for ED organized the movement in hopes of pressuring the South Carolina House of Representatives to pass funding that would unfreeze annual pay steps for teachers. Teachers say failure to pass the budget will impact students and teachers the most in a year already complicated by COVID-19.
“If we continue to lose these amazing professionals, I’m not really sure what’s going to happen to the profession,” says Rachel Gamble, a teacher with the Berkeley County School District.
SC for ED is calling on leaders to take action and pass a budget for education. Teachers say legislators need to take action now.
“To honor the work that were doing by you know giving us at least the minimum that we are entitled to,” says Megan Barbee, a teacher with the Charleston County School District.
The organization called on teachers to take a sick day, spending time to have conversations with leaders and community members in hopes of creating awareness.
“Contact our legislators, whatever representative their house, their senate representative and speak to them regarding the importance of passing a budget,” says Gamble.
Teachers and representatives from the organization say they have seen a number of teachers leave the classroom in the weeks since restarting and fear if nothing changes it will only get worse.
“I’m genuinely afraid that if this isn’t passed, it’s just going to be another blow to a very low morale situation right now,” says Barbee.
Teachers and SC for ED are hoping leaders take notice but are encouraging teachers and community members to continue to raise awareness.
“Research the candidates and find out what their position is on public education and vote this November, understanding that public education is in dire need of support,” says Gamble.
Stand Up and Step Out was a one-day event but teachers and representatives from the organization say they will continue to reach out to elected officials for help.