COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — The South Carolina House on Wednesday passed a proposal to require all schools in the state to offer in-person classes five days a week starting the last week in April and continue to offer them next school year no matter what happens with the COVID-19 pandemic.
The House also removed from the Senate resolution a requirement that teachers be paid extra if they have to teach students both in the classroom and online.
The extra pay proposal had to be taken out because education officials and lawmakers were still working to figure out parameters like if teachers get credit for an online class if the lessons are just streamed and there is no interaction with students who are not in person, said Rep. Raye Felder, R-Fort Mill.
“We’re not leaving those teachers hanging, doing all that additional work?" Rep. Wendy Brawley, D-Hopkins, asked Felder during Wednesday's debate.
“We plan to continue to work on that," Felder said.
The House passed the resolution 106-7 and it faces one last procedural vote before being sent back to the Senate. Senators passed a version with the extra pay and a different deadline, so they will either have to agree to the House version or the two sides will have to work out their differences in a committee.
All but one school district across the state plan to have five days of in-person classes by the April 26 deadline set by the House proposal. The state's largest school district in Greenville County has not been able to get high school students back in classes for five days because of a lack of space to socially distance, but they have said they will also adhere to any deadline.
The deadline in the Senate version passed at the end of March was April 12.
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