Paid Family Leave Now Guaranteed for All S.C. Public School Teachers and Staff
South Carolina is now doing what just a handful of other states across the nation have done: guaranteeing every public school teacher will get at least six weeks of paid leave when they welcome a child.
This new school year is the first one in which the state’s new school employee paid family leave law is in effect.
Gov. Henry McMaster joined teachers and other state leaders at South Pointe High School in Rock Hill on Wednesday to celebrate it with a bill signing ceremony.
The policy, which has officially been in effect since late June, is already helping ease some unknowns for expectant parents like Carson Coomes.
“A big concern being my ability to take time off from being an educator, which is a job I absolutely love, to be a mother,” Coomes, the orchestra director at Blythewood Middle School in Richland School District Two, said.
In the past, parents who worked in South Carolina public schools had to use their vacation, sick time, and likely even take unpaid time off in the weeks after they welcomed a new child.
Starting this year, that changes.
“For our educators, we don’t want them to have to choose between their careers and starting a family,” Rock Hill Schools Superintendent Dr. Tommy Schmolze said.