South Carolina teachers speak out about said “walk out,” personal day


Lawmakers are trying to improve South Carolina schools, but teachers aren’t having it.

An education reform bill passed in the House, but teachers head to the capital May 1st asking for that to change.

It’s a grassroots movement that started a year ago and continues to grow.

Thousands of teachers joined the movement that they are calling #AllOutMay1.

May 1st  they are taking a personal day to ask lawmakers to do-over the entire bill. 

Teachers talked with Representatives about education reform.

Teacher with Aiken County Schools and SC for Ed leader, Kayla Hostetler, says, “this was before. There was conversation before the bill was passed.”

So, NewsChannel 6 asked, “then where did it go wrong?”

“That’s what we really don’t know,” Hostetler says.

A bill was drafted, passed, and teachers weren’t so happy.

Aiken County Public Schools and SCEA Member, John Ross, says, “I think the concern is also for the motives of some of those individuals who drafted the legislation.”

“I know that they are expecting over 2,000 teachers to be there tomorrow,” says Hostetler.

With power in numbers, some concerns include class sizes, the amount of standardized testing and pay increase.

“The goal would be to get 10%,” says Hostetler.

The House Bill increases their pay by 4%.

Mrs. Hostetler says schools are losing effective instructors, which is why they need to act now.

“Aiken County did you know release it’s statement saying that they did support teachers in ther right, and they ask that we put in a personal day and go through that system,” says Hostetler.

Edgefield County also is allowing teachers to take a personal day.

Superintendent Molly Spearman says she will not be joining these teachers and instead act as a substitute that day.

“It’s a lost opportunity on her part to meet and speak with approximately 2,000 educators,” says Ross.

Superintendent Spearman feels these educators are “walking out on their obligations.”

The educators say 2,000 teachers can change the success of schools.

“Teachers aren’t going to remain silent because most teachers have a passion for education and they have a passion for their children, and we know that if there is more funding per child, if there is class size limits, that’s going to help all children in the state,” says Hostetler.

It’s important that not all teachers will be leaving the classrooms.

Even though it seems like a vast majority are, they made it clear to NewsChannel 6 that it is not a walk out. It is a preplanned personal day, one which every teacher is allowed.

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