Statement from State Superintendent Molly Spearman on May 1st Teacher Walkout

Staff Report From South Carolina CEO

Tuesday, April 30th, 2019

State Superintendent of Education Molly Spearman released the following statement on the impending teacher walkout on May 1st:


"I became a teacher because I love and believe in education and the needs of my students always came first. Now, as State Superintendent, my first responsibility and top priority is to the nearly 800,000 students of our state. That is why on May 1, I will not be joining those teachers who decide to walk out on their classrooms. Instead, I will be walking into the classroom of an absent teacher to serve as a substitute. I am not doing this to help facilitate the walkout, but rather to do all I can to ensure as many students as possible receive the instruction they deserve. 


All can agree that areas of South Carolina’s education system are in need of improvement. This year, I have worked with the legislature to raise teacher salaries, provide additional mental health and safety resources for all students, and reduce excessive testing that takes valuable time away from teaching. Progress continues to be made but much more needs to be done.


I support teachers using their voice to advocate for needed change and share in their commitment to ensuring reforms become reality. However, I cannot support teachers walking out on their obligations to South Carolina students, families, and the thousands of hardworking bus drivers, cafeteria workers, counselors, aides, and custodial staff whose livelihoods depend on our schools being operational. 


I pledge to continue fighting to improve the opportunities and resources for all South Carolina students and teachers."