S.C. House lawmakers gave key approval to a bill today that would update the 1977 funding formula for public schools.
The bill, which passed 101 to 6, would provide more money for the education of impoverished students and students whose first language is not English. It would also require the state Department of Education to change the way teachers are paid. Most likely that change would include additional pay for teachers who get better results from their students in the classroom.
The bill's chief sponsor, state Rep. Dan Cooper, R-Anderson, chairman of the House's budget writing committee, has said the bill would not cost the state additional money, instead shifting money from a pot of sales tax revenues that now go to education to pay for the changes.
Under the 1984 law, 1 percent of state tax collections goes to an education account for specific programs approved by lawmakers. After one more vote, the bill moves to the state Senate.
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A similar bill, sponsored by Sen. Wes Hayes, R-York, is working its way through the Senate.