Ruta Smith file photo

S.C. Gov. Henry McMaster signed a bill into law Thursday requiring all school districts in South Carolina to offer five days of in-person learning each week starting April 26.

McMaster was joined by members of the General Assembly for a bill-signing ceremony for S.704 at 3 p.m. the day after the S.C. House approved the Senate measure.

At this point, only three S.C. school districts are not offering five-day in-person learning, according to the South Carolina Department of Education: Colleton County, Greenville County and Hampton School District 2.

All three districts plan to resume five-day in-person instruction on Monday anyway, Superintendent of Education Molly Spearman said.

The bill also represents two changes that will benefit current and retired teachers, including preventing teaching both in-person and virtually without being compensated for the additional workload and allowing retired teachers who return to the classroom to earn up to $50,000 per year without changing their retirement allowances.

“In the midst of a teaching shortage crisis, our state must do all that it can to retain teachers, and the passage of the dual modality prohibition in S.704 is a key step in that direction,” the Palmetto State Teachers Association (PSTA) said in a statement.

The bill also requires all school districts to offer in-person learning next school year as well.

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