House proposes $9M for teachers in high-poverty districts

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — Teachers in 42 high-poverty school districts in South Carolina could get a salary boost under a one-year experiment passed by the House.

The proposal distributes $9 million to districts where at least 80 percent of students live in poverty.

District officials must use the money for teacher recruitment and retention. But they’re given leeway on the specifics. Options for the money could include performance bonuses, hiring teachers in hard-to-fill subjects or even paying moving costs.

Rep. Kenny Bingham says the proposal is aimed at keeping good teachers in poor districts that can’t pay as much as their more prosperous neighbors. The Cayce Republican says legislators will evaluate next year whether the money made a difference.

The chairman of the Senate’s K-12 budget panel, Sen. Wes Hayes, supports the idea.

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