COLUMBIA, S.C. (WIS) - After she graduates, Sarah Campbell wants to be a middle school English teacher.
She is a junior at the University of South Carolina and uses scholarships and loans to help pay for school. When she heard about a proposal to give education majors extra money for their education lottery scholarships, she was thrilled.
"Personally it would pay for my senior year of college if it were to go through," she said.
The proposal was added to S.419 (Education Reform Bill) by Senators on the Senate floor. It was the first amendment they added to the bill. It would expand lottery scholarship enhancements to education majors.
Jennifer Tinneny is an English teacher and Teacher Cadet Instructor. She said, "They created the enhancement for science and math to encourage people to go into science and math fields. So it makes sense to take the same enhancements and put it towards education majors to encourage people to go into the education field."
Right now - some students at eligible four-year institutions in South Carolina can already get up to an extra $2,500 to their LIFE Scholarships per year. This is available to students majoring in math, science, and health fields. Under this new proposal, students majoring in education like Campbell would now be eligible.
She said," It kind of puts the education field and profession on the same level as those that get that additional enhancement with their STEM major as well."
Senators voted unanimously to add this amendment to the education bill. Senator Nikki Setzler (D-Lexington) said this proposal has bipartisan support. "This amendment being adopted is a first step in significant progress on what needs to be done."
If the Senate passes the education bill with the plan in it -- the House would have to approve the measure as well. Tinneny said, "Why not encourage these kids to look at this as a viable profession for them?"
These scholarships are funded by the South Carolina Education Lottery so it wouldn't cost tax payers any extra money for these new enhancements.
According to the South Carolina Education Lottery, since 2002, the lottery has generated more than $4 billion for Higher Education Programs and scholarships.