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Committee recommends using surplus sales tax revenue to help bring SC students up to speed



COLUMBIA, S.C. (WSPA) — The Education Oversight Committee (EOC) is sending funding recommendations to the rest of the General Assembly to help students dealing with learning loss due to the pandemic.

According to the EOC, less than half of students in elementary and middle school are up to grade level in math and reading in South Carolina. This is mostly due to disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

They are recommending using some surplus sales tax revenue funds designated for education for three areas: access to high quality data, access to high quality instructional materials and access to high quality teacher development.

One of their recommendations is additional paid training days for educators teaching reading in low-performing schools.

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“Most of those teachers would need additional support to bring kids up to level,” said EOC Executive Director Matthew Ferguson. “They quite frankly may have been trained in a literacy program that is not showing benefits to kids in those schools. So, this would provide an option for re-training and supporting those teachers to better to support their students.”

They are suggesting investing $34 million for this.

Another recommendation the EOC had is investing about $50 million for ‘high-dose’ tutoring.

The committee voted to send these recommendations to the rest of the General Assembly.

Lawmakers will ultimately have the final say on whether or not to fund these recommendations.

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