You are the owner of this article.
You have permission to edit this article.
Edit

Here's the proposed SC Teacher Bill of Rights

  • Updated
Teacher Protest Crowd.JPG (copy)

Around 10,000 teachers and supporters protested at the SC Statehouse in 2019. Supporters say the "Teacher Bill of Rights" would address some of their concerns. Lauren Petracca/Staff

SC legislators are debating a 'Teacher Bill of Rights' as part of their education reform bills. The House included one version of it in the education reform bill it passed last year, and also passed it as a stand-alone bill this year. Senators are currently debating another version.

There are minor differences in the enumerated "rights," but the big difference between the two measures is that the House version does not "create or imply a private cause of action for a violation of its provisions.” The Senate version gives teachers the right to sue and says a court may award attorneys’ fees — but not damages.

Here's the 'Teacher Bill of Rights' that the Senate is debating as part of S.419:

Section 59-25-910. (A) All certified public school teachers in South Carolina have a right to:

(1) have their professional judgment and discretion concerning disciplinary action or instructional decisions in the classroom, made in accordance with written school and district policies provided to faculty, be fully respected by school and district officials;

(2) take appropriate disciplinary measures, including the removal of persistently disruptive students, pursuant to school and district policies as referenced in item (1), to facilitate a learning environment built upon a mutual culture of respect between teachers and their assigned students;

(3) work in a safe, secure, and orderly environment that is conducive to learning and free from recognized dangers, hazards, or threats that are causing or likely to cause serious injury or disability;

(4) an unencumbered daily planning time, equal to no less of one quarter of their assigned instructional time, free from meetings, duties, or requirements incompatible with the effective planning of instruction;

(5) be free of excessive and burdensome paperwork related to disciplinary actions, state or district evaluation procedures, and other administrative inquiries that prevent fulfillment of the teacher's primary directive to implement effective instruction for their students;

(6) additional compensation for work time required above and beyond stated contracted days and established work day parameters for duties associated with their responsibilities as teachers;

(7) receive, as teachers under induction contracts, leadership and support from school and district personnel, including the assignment of qualified mentors who:

(a) commit to helping them become competent and confident professionals in the classroom; and

(b) offer support and assistance as needed to meet performance standards and professional expectations; and

(8) file a declaratory judgment action if schools or school districts establish policies or implement standard expectations of behavior that prevent teachers from exercising the rights stated herein.

(B) No monetary damages may be awarded for violations of subsection (A). The court may award attorneys' fees at its discretion.

Here's the 'Teacher Bill of Rights' that the House passed last year as part of H.3759:

Section 59-25-920. All certified public school teachers in South Carolina should be able to expect the following:

(1) have their professional judgment and discretion included in regard to disciplinary actions or instructional decisions in the classroom made in accordance with school and district policy;

(2) teach free from fear of frivolous lawsuits;

(3) take appropriate disciplinary measures, pursuant to federal law, school policy and district policy, to facilitate a learning environment developed through a culture of respect between teacher and students;

(4) work in an environment that is conducive to learning;

(5) an unencumbered daily planning time that is coordinated with school administration;

(6) a recognition that the goal of the State should be a competitive salary commensurate with that of other professionals with similar years of experience, and educational degrees;

(7) have the State and district take all necessary steps to ensure that teachers are not burdened with unnecessary paperwork that prevents the fulfillment of the teacher's primary directive to implement effective instruction for their students;

(8) additional compensation or time for work time above and beyond contracted days; and

(9) receive, as teachers under induction contracts, leadership and support from school and district personnel, including the assignment of qualified mentors who:

(a) commit to helping them become competent and confident professionals in the classroom; and

(b) offer support and assistance as needed to meet performance standards and professional expectations.

Section 59-25-930. The provisions of this article do not create or imply a private cause of action for a violation of its provisions.

Cindi Ross Scoppe is an editorial writer for The Post and Courier. Contact her at cscoppe@postandcourier.com or follow her on Facebook or Twitter  @cindiscoppe.

Get up-to-the-minute news sent straight to your device.

Topics

Breaking News

Columbia Breaking News

Greenville Breaking News

Myrtle Beach Breaking News

Aiken Breaking News