Kamala Harris touts plan to raise teacher salaries, doesn’t mention Biden in SC stop

Riding a high from her recent presidential debate performance, U.S. Sen. Kamala Harris drew a large crowd of about 450 during her town hall in Florence Sunday.

During the event at New Ebenezer Baptist Church, Harris discussed several of her signature campaign measures, including beginning a federal initiative to increase teacher salaries.

The initiative, Harris said, was inspired by her talks with educators across the United States, some of which are working two or three jobs to make ends meet.

In South Carolina alone, the program would raise the average teacher’s pay by more than $9,000, according to her campaign.

“I strongly believe you should judge a society based on how it treats its children, and one of the greatest expressions of love that a society can extend to its children is to invest in their education,” Harris said during the town hall.

Education has long been a hallmark of the California senator’s campaign in South Carolina, especially following the S.C. Legislature’s attempts at reform.

Harris met with South Carolina teachers on several occasions earlier this year, including a round table meeting in West Columbia ahead of the teachers’ walk out.

Harris recently received a bump in national polls after her clash with former Vice President Joe Biden during the first presidential debate last week.

During the exchange, the California Democrat called out Biden for his past opposition to using busing to integrate Delaware schools.

“There was a little girl in California who was part of the second class to integrate her public schools, and she was bused to school every day,” Harris said. “And that little girl was me.”

The phrase has since become an iconic part of the Harris campaign, even emblazoned on T-shirts.

At the Miami debate, Harris also said comments Biden made about bipartisan compromise where he cited working with two prominent segregationists were “hurtful.”

During a campaign stop in Sumter on Saturday, Biden apologized for his comments in front of a largely African American crowd, who applauded his humility.

Since the debate, Harris has used her momentum to announce several other pro-minority proposals, including releasing a plan Saturday to invest $100 billion to assist black families in overcoming barriers to purchasing homes. Harris also has strongly advocated for combating discriminatory housing.

Sunday, though, Harris did not speak much on race-related issues and did not mention her confrontation with Biden.

Harris is scheduled for other stops across South Carolina on Monday, including a town hall meeting in Myrtle Beach.

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Emily Bohatch helps cover South Carolina’s government for The State. She also updates The State’s databases. Her accomplishments include winning a Green Eyeshade award in Disaster Reporting in 2018 for her teamwork reporting on Hurricane Irma. She has a degree in Journalism with a minor in Spanish from Ohio University’s E. W. Scripps School of Journalism.