Educators, senators work together to change education bill

Educators, senators work together to change education bill

GAFFNEY, SC (WIS) - Wonda Hilliard has been teaching for 35 years.

“I’ve seen the transition in education over time,” she said.

Hilliard has seen plenty of changes in her three decades in the classroom. Some good. Some pretty bad. That’s why she joined the dozens of teachers at Monday night’s Senate Education Subcommittee Hearing at Gaffney High School.

This is the third of four scheduled meetings the subcommittee has held outside of Columbia.

Hilliard is happy lawmakers are listening to teachers. “We need to have more of a voice as educators and sitting down, discussing these amendments.”

Senators listened to two hours of testimony inside of Gaffney High School’s auditorium.

Lawmakers have been amending the massive-education reform bill since it was introduced. So far, they’ve removed the controversial “Zero to Twenty” Committee and the Student Bill of Rights.

Some teachers say they would like to see more changes.

During the public hearing Monday night, teachers brought up concerns over the mental health of their students and teacher pay. Many are advocating for a 10% raise.

Terrell Brown, the president of the Greenville County Education Association said, “It’s tough for these kids right now to come into the profession, have financial stability and start a family.”

Teachers say they will keep advocating for smaller class sizes and ways to fight to the teacher shortage. They say they don’t believe this bill will solve all our problems, but it’s a start.

“Change takes a while. As long as it’s done correctly. It is for the future. It’s for the kids,” Brown said.

The Senate Education Subcommittee will be meeting again Thursday night at Georgetown High School for another public hearing.

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