- Associated Press - Monday, April 29, 2019

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) - The Latest on a teacher rally in South Carolina scheduled for Wednesday (all times local):

5:55 p.m.

Another South Carolina school district is closing because too many teachers say they are going to a rally at the Statehouse on Wednesday.

The Colleton County School District said they don’t have enough substitute teachers to assure school safety, so they are cancelling classes. The district has about 5,500 students.

The district said in a statement that its Board Of Trustees will discuss a makeup day at a meeting Tuesday.

Lexington-Richland District 5 also announced on Monday it is closing Wednesday. Dorchester District 2 and Chester County cancelled classes last week.

Thousands of teachers are expected to rally at the Statehouse calling for smaller class sizes, more support staff in schools like counselors and better pay.


3:50 p.m.

A third school district in South Carolina says it’s closing because of a teacher rally on Wednesday.

Lexington-Richland School District 5 said Monday it decided to cancel classes because the number of teachers who already asked for the day off and anticipating more would miss school.

The district in the Columbia suburbs has about 17,400 students.

District officials said in a statement they will likely add the cancelled day to the end of the school year.

Previously, Dorchester District 2 with 26,200 students and Chester County schools with 5,100 students announced they were canceling classes Wednesday.

Thousands of teachers are expected to march to the South Carolina Statehouse to call for smaller class sizes, more staff like counselors, better pay and a guaranteed break every day.


12:05 p.m.

South Carolina’s education superintendent says she does not support teachers rallying for better pay and smaller class sizes on a school day.

State Superintendent Molly Spearman said instead of attending Wednesday’s rally of teachers at the Statehouse, she will instead work as a substitute teacher.

Spearman said in a statement while she supports teachers advocating for themselves, they should not be “walking out on their obligations” to students and families.

Spearman joins fellow Republican Gov. Henry McMaster and other GOP officials criticizing the Wednesday rally.

Thousands of teachers are expected to march on the Statehouse Wednesday.

Rep. Russell Ott plans to speak at the rally. The Democrat from St. Matthews says he isn’t surprised some lawmakers are trying to downplay the rally and frustrate teachers until they stop fighting.

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