Teacher reading to students

Teacher Pay and Teacher Bonuses!

Story by: Trenell Boyd and Gerell LawhorneStudent/Staff Journalists

For 180 days every year, parents wake their kids in the morning and send them off to school to be educated. Everyday, teachers deal with the pressure of shaping young minds. Teachers go to work everyday with the uncertainty of not knowing what situation(s) they will stumble upon. With all that said, it is an indisputable truth that teachers should be paid more.

Statistics show that teachers now earn a record 18.7 percent less in wages than comparable workers, but teacher-pay varies across school districts. Th e average salary for a Fairfield County School District teacher is $49,288.

Recently, the Fairfield County School Board approved a proposal that will provide a yearly bonus to all district employees. Superintendent of Schools, Dr. J.R. Green, proposed a compensation incentive that enhances the pay for all certified and classified staff members. Certified employees include teachers, administrators, and guidance counselors. Classified employees include bus drivers, maintenance workers, cafeteria workers, and office and clerical staff . Starting December 2019, all certified employees will receive a $5,000 bonus and classified staff will receive a $3,000 bonus. For employees to qualify for this bonus, they must begin their employment by August 2019. Dr. Green hopes that this bonus will assist the staff in managing their financial obligations, in addition to attracting new teachers to the district. Dr. Green also hopes that this will decrease the need for employees to work a second job in order to survive.

The bonus proposal will cost approximately 2.8 million dollars. In addition to the $5,000 bonus, teachers will receive a 4% raise, which has been approved by the South Carolina General Assembly. Surrounding counties, such as Lexington School District, also uses bonuses as an incentive to draw and attract new staff members.

Dr. Green also expressed that the 4% raise and bonuses will result in a total compensation of $45,295 for a first year teacher.