South Carolina teachers and state employees raise their salaries under the Senate spending plan. Does it stick?

The long-awaited salary increase for South Carolina public school teachers and state officials could come this year under the revised Legislative Senate spending plan adopted by the Parliamentary Budgeting Committee on Tuesday.

Under this change, Senators will allow public school teachers to earn about $ 72 million annually in addition to the annual salary increase based on their level of education and years of classroom experience. I want to spend.

This salary increase is equivalent to a salary increase of more than 2% for teachers with an annual income of less than $ 50,000.

State employees will also get the first 2% full salary increase on the revised budget since 2016, which is expected to cost about $ 47.6 million. Workers in states with less than $ 70,000 in income last year received a temporary bonus of $ 600 about two years ago.

Salary increases are intended to help attract and retain teachers and state employees. Efforts were hampered after the COVID-19 pandemic caused economic uncertainty and withheld salary increases.

The state was one of the lowest in the country and has been working to raise teacher salaries.Planned $ 3,000 salary increase pending Last year for COVID-19.

“The complexity of the factors that contribute to our state’s teacher shortage cannot be addressed by a single policy, but serious efforts to increase teacher retention in South Carolina include salaries with neighboring teachers. We need to include salary increases to make us more competitive. State. ” The Palmett State Teachers Association, the state’s largest teacher group, said.

Senators estimated that the state would get a new dollar (equivalent to about $ 1.7 billion) weeks after the House approved a version of the current $ 10.6 billion spending plan for Senators to pay for salary increases. ) Was able to be immersed.

The· The House of Representatives has passed a version of the $ 9.8 billion state spending plan last month. The plan did not fund the demands of many state agencies. However, the house budgeter said he hopes to return to Colombia in the spring to work on how the extra money can be spent.

In addition to raising salaries, the Senate Finance Committee has included $ 40 million in annual spending to keep tuition freezes at college. This is a House-backed measure.

“I hope people in higher education pay particular attention to this,” said R-Florence, chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, Hugh Leatherman. “I don’t want to see the tuition increase this year.”

This year, state legislators also need to decide how to spend $ 525 million from the Savannah River Site settlement and $ 2.1 billion from the US rescue program for COVID-19 costs. There is.

Those decisions may not come until autumn.

Senate spending plan highlights

▪ ▪ $ 100 million for teaching materials

▪ ▪ $ 3.7 Million State Museum Refurbishment

▪ ▪ $ 15 Million at Sumter Opera House

▪ ▪ $ 19 Million at Greenville Museum / Convention Center

▪ ▪ $ 234 million for university maintenance, refurbishment, and replacement

▪ ▪ $ 50 Million in Veterans Nursing Homes in Samter and Holly County

▪ ▪ $ 21.5 million for Welcome Center refurbishment

▪ ▪ $ 12 Million in Downtown Sparthamberg Infrastructure

▪ ▪ $ 10 million for broadband internet

▪ ▪ $ 2 Million for Mother Emmanuel Foundation for Capital Infrastructure for Monument

▪ ▪ $ 40 Million for Rest Area Renovation