South Carolina could tap more than $140 million in federal money to save teacher jobs, school advocacy groups said Monday.
But that would require state and congressional lawmakers to agree to go after the money.
South Carolina is the only state that has not received money from the so-called federal education jobs fund, meant to preserve teachers' jobs during The Great Recession, the groups said in a press conference. They called on S.C. political leaders to agree to apply for the money.
"We can't do anymore," said Paul Krohne, director of the S.C. School Boards Association. "It's now up to the state and congressional leadership to make this happen and get these needed funds."
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The groups also want political leaders to apply for a portion of a $700 million federal "Race to the Top" money. That money would go toward strengthening education programs and creating new preschool ones.
But state Superintendent of Education Mick Zais and Gov. Nikki Haley, both Republicans, have said they will not apply for the "Race to the Top" dollars. Zais has said the federal dollars come with strings attached and would be used to start programs the state later would have to find a way to pay for on its own.
-- Gina Smith