Teacher vacancies are getting worse in South Carolina. They went up 39% over the previous year as of the start of the 2022-23 school year, according to a new report from the Center for Educator Recruitment, Retention and Advancement. School districts fell short nearly 1,500 teachers of their desired goal, the report said.

According to a summary of the report, teacher vacancies got worse – even though there were fewer teaching positions this year.  The study showed there were 1,474 vacancies this school year, compared to 1,063 a year earlier.

Also, one in seven educators did not return to a teaching or service position in the same S.C. school district as last year – a reflection of how districts struggle to keep seasoned educators in place and constantly have to recruit.  

In other recent news:

Republicans win narrow U.S. House majority. Republicans formally won 218 seats in the House after a week of counting votes. The chamber now flips from Democratic control to GOP control, but the margin is much closer than predicted before the election.

Some leading Republicans try to ignore Trump’s announcement. Former President Donald Trump this week announced a presidential bid for the 2024 election. But some Republicans didn’t take too kindly to the announcement and  insisted there were more pressing legislative matters — and that they needed to deal with the party fallout of performing less impressively in the midterm elections than predicted. Meanwhile, S.C. Gov. Henry McMaster endorsed the former president’s campaign. 

S.C. gets “F” on preterm birth rate. South Carolina has the nation’s fifth-worst preterm birth rate according to a new March of Dimes report.

State begins issuing 2022 tax rebatesThe state Department of Revenue has started issuing tax rebates of up to $800 to eligible South Carolinians.

IAAM blessed by faith leaders ahead of January opening. Dozens of faith leaders from North America and Africa came together Nov. 16 for a Blessing of the Water and Sacred Ground service at the new International African American Museum. The museum is slated to open Jan. 21, 2023.

Newly-elected Berkeley Co. school board makes major changes at first meetingUpon its first meeting with three brand new members, the Berkeley County school board fired superintendent Deon Jackson and hired a new one that same meeting. The new board also discussed critical race theory (CRT) and said it will provide guidelines on what teachers can and cannot teach. Some lawyers say the firing and replacement of the superintendent were done illegally, while activists criticized the board’s decision on CRT. 

New Covid cases drop.  State health officials reported 2,944 new cases of Covid-19 in the week starting Nov. 6.  That’s a drop of 1,143 cases from the previous week. For the week ending Nov. 12, state officials reported 17 people died from Covid-19.  As of Nov. 14, there were 249 people (up 16 patients from the previous week) who were hospitalized with the virus, eight of whom were on ventilators. 

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