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Issue Explainer

Employment Contracts

When employee rights are protected, we build power and go on the offense in order to fight for social and racial justice, our kids, our schools, our communities, and our shared future. This should start with the contract you sign to commence your employment.
An image of antiquated and sexist teacher contract
Published: January 2023
Educators & School Staff should be treated as professionals starting from the date they sign their contracts.

In many states, educators and school staff look to their contract to determine which rights are protected for themselves and their coworkers. However, contracts for educators and school staff in South Carolina often offer no benefit or protection while allowing significant leeway for districts and administrators. This one-sided relationship in employee contracts with school districts must end.

Contracts must become more equitable for educators and school staff. While many issues in contracts need to be addressed, the following can be addressed in state legislation: 

  1. A later contract acceptance date— when educators are offered reemployment by their district, they must accept that offer before May 10—often before the district determines staffing assignments for the coming year and certainly ahead of any updated information regarding pay for the upcoming year. Educators need more time to make the right decision for themselves and their families without fear of reprisal; 

  1. Educators need to understand the compensation and benefits they are accepting and who maintains and makes adjustments to their benefits. Contracts must be required to clearly outline all benefits and compensation provided, clearly delineating which benefits are provided by the district and which are provided by the state and how the educator accepting the contract may find more detailed information about each benefit. 

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