SC lawmakers halt ‘Teacher Bill of Rights’

Politics

COLUMBIA, SC (WSPA/WBTW)- We are into week three of the South Carolina Senate debate on education reform and senators are picking apart the “SC Career Opportunity and Access For All Act.”

Early into the debate, Senator Tom Davis (R-Beaufort) introduced an amendment to include a “Teacher Bill of Rights.”

Less paperwork, more classroom control, and bathroom breaks are just a few things teachers included in the list of proposals they are asking lawmakers to consider.

On Wednesday, state senators spent hours debating the amendment.

Senator Shane Martin (R- Spartanburg) voted in favor of including the amendment into the massive education bill.

“You had one that lays the groundwork that says ok the districts may give teachers some right then you had one that gave teachers some recourse.”

The amendment eliminates unnecessary paperwork, allowing teachers to sue a school district if rights are violated and requires schools to give teachers a 30 minute break free from classroom duties.

Senator Karl Allen (D- Greenville) also voted in favor of the amendment, saying “it’s shocking to know there is not a way administratively in some classrooms, some districts because to be effective they have to be comfortable, we want them to be comfortable to put their best foot forward.”

Twenty eight (28) senators voted against the amendment. Opponents say the litigation power the proposal gives teachers could have unintended legal consequences.

Senator Rex Rice (R- Pickens) presented his concerns and reasoning behind his “no” vote.

“One issue you could have a flood of teachers going to the school board when they should be able to work that out administratively with the schools and another if a teacher did go against the school district and they lost they would have to actually pay those legal fees.”

The amendment failed to pass with a vote of 28-14. However, elements of that amendment are included in separate bills currently waiting discussion.

Count on News13 for updates.

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