Photo by MChe Lee on Unsplash

A bill introduced earlier this year requires every school in South Carolina to give elementary school teachers a 30-minute break each day without students. It passed in the final days of the 2022 General Assembly session and was signed into law by Gov. Henry McMaster. 

Teacher groups requested the law, saying some teachers never had time to eat lunch or use the bathroom because they were watching students. While issues with teacher workload have been a topic of discussion for years, the problem was exacerbated during the pandemic. 

The bill passed the House and Senate unanimously before landing on McMaster’s desk. 

The burden now falls on local school boards to develop plans to ensure teachers get the required break. These plans must be completely implemented by 2023.

A second bill which also passed the House and Senate unanimously and passed at the last minute forbids school districts from turning over debt a student owes for school lunches to a collection agency. Supporters said students need to eat regardless of their ability to pay and turning debt over to a collection agency was too drastic of a step.

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