FORT MILL – Today is apparently a banner day for substitute teachers in the Carolinas. Teachers are rallying in Columbia and Raleigh to prod state legislators into upping their pay and reforming policies to address class preparation time and other issues.
It’s unclear how many Fort Mill School District teachers are attending the rally rather than show up at their schools, but some social media posts indicate it could be quite a few.
“I personally know of 25 from NaFo and that’s just from three departments. Unconfirmed are probably at least that many more,” according to one poster in a Facebook group.
We’re not naming posters in that group because it’s a closed group.
Only one area school district – Chester – cancelled classes today in response to the number of teachers requesting the day off to attend the rally.
The Fort Mill School District refused to disclose how many teachers requested the day off, saying only that all schools are operating on a normal schedule.
ETV is planning to stream the rally live starting at 10:30 a.m. You can watch by clicking here or below.
Another poster said temp agencies are offering premium pay for today only.
“I will be there and our kids have too much standardized test!” one Fort Mill teacher posted in the closed group. Others, naming various schools across the district, said they were planning to attend the rally and mentioned that some of their peers also were going.
South Carolina lawmakers have been working on an education reform package to addresses the number of standardized tests, class size and other issues. A 4 percent pay raise for veteran teachers – and more for lower paid, less experienced teachers – was included in the state budget still being reconciled by the the S.C. Legislature’s two chambers. However, South Carolina teachers are among the lowest paid in the nation and some local teachers want a higher pay bump and other reforms.
Some teachers have aired complaints about workdays that are so crammed they have to spend hours working at home after hours to keep up.
Several posters aired their disappointment at S.C. Education Supt. Molly Spearman’s condemnation of the rally. She said she plans to work as a substitute teacher at an undisclosed Midlands region school today.