On Thursday, Governor Henry McMaster signed joint resolution S.704 into law requiring South Carolina schools to provide in-person classes five days a week to students. It will take effect on Monday, April 26, and will last for the remainder of the academic year.
The bill also stipulated that schools must pay teachers more next school year if they are directly teaching both in-person and online students.
In addition, the resolution eliminates a salary limit on teachers who retired on or before April 1, 2019. A retiree may be employed to receive up to $50,000 per month without affecting their annual retirement benefits. This would help with some COVID-19 staffing issues.
According to state Education Superintendent Molly Spearman, those teachers may be vital to getting students back on track.
“We need you. Please consider coming back and doing that work,” Spearman said at the bill signing on Thursday.
Families will still be able to keep their high schoolers on the current hybrid program, which requires them to attend 75 percent of their classes in person.
Three districts in South Carolina are in hybrid in-person teaching, according to the state’s education department. Hybrid in-person instruction is offered in Colleton, Greenville, and Hampton 2. On April 26, these districts will transition to face-to-face instruction as an option for all students.