COLUMBIA, S.C. (WCBD) – Teachers across the state could soon receive a $3,000 raise.

South Carolina Governor Henry McMaster joined House Speaker Jay Lucas, Superintendent Molly Spearman, and other members of the General Assembly to propose a $3,000 pay raise for each of the state’s 52,733 public school teachers.

“By continuing to invest in our classroom teachers, we are sending a strong message about South Carolina across the nation and the globe,” said Gov. Henry McMaster. “We are taking bold steps in education reform to produce the next generation’s workforce and to maintain our state’s competitive advantage for new jobs and investment.”

This $211 million investment will be a major part of the governor’s fiscal year 2020/2021 executive budget, which he will announce in January 2020.

“There can be no doubt that a strong economy requires a strong education system and that a strong education system requires strong investment,” said S.C. House Speaker Jay Lucas. “An essential part of that investment must be attracting and retaining top-flight teachers so that we can remain competitive and recruit the best graduates to enter education. The House has spent an enormous amount of time listening to teachers across this state, and we understand their concerns. This proposal demonstrates that we’ve heard them loud and clear. I am proud to stand with Governor McMaster and support our teachers by putting forward a budget prioritizing public education – especially the women and men who play the most important role in it.”

“There is no job more critical to the success of our state than that of our teachers who are responsible for shaping the minds of the next generation of leaders,” said S.C. Superintendent of Education Molly Spearman. “They deserve a competitive salary and to be treated as professionals. This investment, coupled with meaningful education reform, is one that will pay dividends for South Carolina and shows that we are committed to moving education in the right direction.”

The raise will boost the state’s national ranking from 41st into the Top 25 states for average teacher pay and represents a three-year 26% increase in the minimum starting salary for new teachers: from $30,000 to $38,000.

South Carolina teachers will now make $2,456 above the Southeastern average for teacher salaries.