The South Carolina Senate voted unanimously Tuesday for a proposal to make all teachers and critical school staff and daycare workers eligible for the coronavirus vaccine as part of phase 1A.
Teachers are grouped with other frontline essential workers in Phase 1B of the state’s plan; the proposal would move them to 1A.
The vote came the same day S.C. Reps. Russell Ott, D-Calhoun, and Neal Collins, R-Pickens, drafted a joint resolution to include public and private K-12 school teachers and other school employees in phase 1A of the state’s vaccine rollout.
“Our children need to be in the classroom,” Ott said in a press release. “With a vaccine now available, teachers, who have sacrificed and worked extremely hard to continue instruction throughout this pandemic, need to be at the front of the line.”
The resolution passed by the Senate would also require all school districts to offer students in-person classes five days a week immediately after spring break, even if teachers aren’t fully vaccinated by then.
Gov. Henry McMaster has opposed the plan in the past saying moving teachers ahead of seniors in the vaccine line would be “unethical, immoral and absolutely unacceptable,” according to Associated Press.
The governor could still veto the joint resolution if passed by both chambers, but the General Assembly could override any veto by a two-thirds vote.