Teacher pay raises are uncertain as South Carolina budget talks come to a halt this week. This comes as a July 1 deadline looms less than two weeks away.
The State newspaper reports budget talks came to a stop when negotiators from the state House and Senate failed to reach an agreement on how to spend roughly $60 million in excess funds.
The House had voted to use that money to fund teachers’ raises and an upgraded forensic lab at the State Law Enforcement Division. The Senate wants $20 million to go to state-owned colleges and universities to renovate buildings, something the House is against.
Lawmakers are expected to return to Columbia next week to take up the budget. The House and Senate have considered a continuing resolution that would keep the government operating if they cannot reach a deal before the current fiscal year ends on June 30. However, they still anticipate approving a final budget by the deadline.