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S.C. combats teacher shortage as governor enforces 5-day learning

Published: Apr. 26, 2021 at 7:04 AM EDT
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COLUMBIA, S.C. (WRDW/WAGT) - Starting today, schools in South Carolina must offer in-person learning five days a week. This comes after Governor Henry McMaster signed a bill last week that required it.

But there’s something else that the bill focuses on, which is filling the teaching gap.

South Carolina has been going through a teacher shortage since the beginning of the pandemic.

According to the Center for Educator Retention and Recruitment, the Palmetto state lost about 170 teachers each month from November to February.

And now, state education leaders say there’s also an especially strong need for substitute teachers.

“On an average year, the district was able to fill 85 percent of daily teacher absences with a substitute teacher. This year, they’ve been trending closer to 45 percent,” Patrick Kelly, with the Palmetto State Teachers Association, explained. “What people often don’t understand is that substitute teachers are critically important to the operation of schools and critically important to the education of students.”

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