S.C. Senate passes education reform plan, bill now on its way to the House

S.C. Senate passes education reform plan, bill now on its way to the House
Senators debated the education bill for weeks and made hundreds of amendments before passing it. (Source: WIS)

COLUMBIA, S.C. (WIS) - By a vote of 40 to 4, South Carolina senators voted to officially pass the education bill they had been debating on the Senate floor for two months.

This comes one day after they voted 41 to 4 to give the bill, S.419, a second reading.

The bill includes the removal of some testing, changes to the Read to Succeed program, an expansion of lottery scholarship enhancements to education majors and duty-free time for teachers.

SC for Ed -- a grassroots group which advocates for educators and students -- said they are against the bill since it does not address issues like class size reduction and a Teacher Bill of Rights.

Thursday afternoon, senators voted to give S.419 its third reading, and passed it along to the House.

All of this follows weeks of debate and hundreds of amendments.

“When we complete our work on this bill, our work will not stop," Education Committee Chairman Senator Greg Hembree, R-Horry County, said. “The hard work of building an education system that gives every student in South Carolina the opportunity for a world-class education never ends, and we will continue that work, every year.”

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Three Democrats and one Republican voted against the bill.

“Every time the General Assembly passes something called ‘education reform’ it never works,” Sen. Shane Martin, R-Spartanburg, said on the Senate floor.

The bill is now on its way to the House where members there will debate the plan.

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