COLUMBIA, S.C. (WBTW) – State schools Superintendent Molly Spearman again on Friday pushed for teachers to be included in the first phase of vaccines, citing new CDC guidelines that say those who have been vaccinated need not quarantine.
However, Gov. McMaster opposes moving teachers into the group despite the state Senate unanimously approving a measure that would allow teachers to be put into Phase 1a. The governor says the 1a group is for prioritizing the elderly.
This is a game-changer for teachers, Spearman said about the CDC report on Friday. People who have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19 do not need to quarantine after being exposed to the coronavirus, the CDC said this week.
This is even more reason for educators to be moved to the 1a category and be vaccinated right away, the state’s schools chief said. Moving the teachers into the current round of vaccines will help all schools open sooner and help keep them open in South Carolina, she argued.
Spearman also announced South Carolina school districts will get an additional $846 million in funding from the COVID response and relief act passed by Congress. The districts have until Dec. 2023 to spend the additional money and the categories for spending have increased to include facility repairs, improve air quality in schools and address learning loss.
Last summer, $194 million was allocated to districts, which had only two years to spend the money.
“We are working with them now on how they will spend this money,” Spearman said. “Much of it should be spent on overcoming learning loss. We are receiving that data in now and there is work to be done.”