Governor Henry McMaster signs parental leave bill into law
The law guarantees public education employees and staff up to six weeks of paid leave
COLUMBIA, S.C. (WIS) - A bill that would guarantee paid parental leave for public school teachers and full-time employees in South Carolina when they welcome a new child via birth adoption, or fostering has officially been signed into law.
Governor Henry McMaster signed the law on Friday and it will become effective starting June 26.
When it comes to a student’s academic achievement, we know that quality teachers matter the most. That is why I am proud to sign a bill granting paid parental leave for school district employees. This gives us yet another tool to recruit and retain the very best educators around. pic.twitter.com/VDKphpyg9b— Gov. Henry McMaster (@henrymcmaster) May 15, 2023
With the bill signed, South Carolina becomes the first state in the southeast to guarantee public school employees statewide, including teachers, receive paid leave for up to six weeks when they welcome a new child.
Lawmakers said the law would boost South Carolina’s efforts to recruit and retain teachers at a time the state’s educator shortage is growing.
Public school teachers + staff in South Carolina will officially get up to six weeks of paid family leave when they welcome a child to their family via birth, adoption, or fostering — Gov. @henrymcmaster signed that bill into law Friday, effective June 26: https://t.co/OKuuyH6VKS pic.twitter.com/44LWj42HVH— Mary Green (@MaryGreenNews) May 13, 2023
When the bill passed the House, the Palmetto State Teachers Student Association issued the following statement:
This commitment is critically important in light of our state’s persistent and growing educator shortages. Given the scope of these shortages, the passage of H. 3908 should rightly be viewed as an important policy action, but it also cannot be allowed to stand as the only policy action to enhance educator recruitment and retention efforts in our state. More work remains for state and local leaders to ensure that every classroom in this state is staffed by the highly qualified educator that the students of South Carolina need and deserve...
Read their full statement below.
“PSTA applauds today’s unanimous vote in the South Carolina House to concur with Senate amendments to H. 3908, a bill that will make educators in South Carolina eligible for the same paid parental leave benefits created for state employees in 2022. While the bill still needs to be signed into law by the Governor, this piece of legislation has now received a unanimous vote of support at every step of the legislative process. This truly remarkable outcome demonstrates a strong commitment by the members of the General Assembly to support educators and their families.
This commitment is critically important in light of our state’s persistent and growing educator shortages. Given the scope of these shortages, the passage of H. 3908 should rightly be viewed as an important policy action, but it also cannot be allowed to stand as the only policy action to enhance educator recruitment and retention efforts in our state. More work remains for state and local leaders to ensure that every classroom in this state is staffed by the highly qualified educator that the students of South Carolina need and deserve, which is why PSTA looks forward to the coming release of the report from the Teacher Recruitment, Retention, and Advancement Task Force created in the current state budget under the leadership of House Speaker Murrell Smith.
But today, PSTA celebrates the passage of this important piece of legislation. PSTA appreciates the efforts of so many legislators that made the passage of this bill a priority during this legislative session, particularly Rep. Neal Collins, the primary author of H. 3908, and Senate Majority Leader Shane Massey, who introduced similar legislation earlier this year in the Senate. PSTA looks forward to this bill being signed by Governor McMaster in order to give educators in South Carolina an increased opportunity to care for their own children while continuing to dedicate their time and talents to the service of the children of our state.”
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