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Keeping teachers in SC classrooms is goal of new USC program

COLUMBIA, S.C. (WSPA)– The University of South Carolina is trying to address the state’s teacher shortage problem. Earlier this year lawmakers identified teacher retention as one of the biggest concerns in education and now a USC program could keep teachers in classrooms in the state.

It’s called the Carolina Teacher Induction Program and it helps recent University of South Carolina graduates tackle the first few years as a new teacher and keep them in our schools.

The coordinator for Carolina TIP says it’s important for teachers to have support early on in their career. “We are losing teachers at an alarming rate and the teachers are often in the first 3 years in the classroom we tend to see the largest loss of teachers in the classroom so this program is specifically aimed to offer support the first 3 years they are in the classroom,” said Nicole Skeen.

During the 3 years, teachers will have mentors and receive instructional coaching to help them better manage their classrooms, a problem many new teachers seem to face.

Alison Schriro is one of 15 recent graduates in the program. “My students give me a run for my money everyday and being really consistent enforcing procedures and things like that is so much easier said than done,” said Schriro.

So the program helps teachers acquire the skills and tools needed to be successful in getting all of their students on the same page.

“Nicole has been good about coming in and observing hey are here some things you should do I like your heart but you might need to strengthen your hoards a little bit here’s some advice for rules and procedures,” said Madalyn Hazlett, another Carolina TIP participant.

Teachers say that transition from student to instructor isn’t easy and this program helps with the change. “Having this support here in South Carolina makes me want to stay a lot longer, I don’t have plans of where I want to teach but having this amazing system really makes me want to stay here for a long time,” added Hazlett.

This is the first year of the program. It actually started in late October. Right now it is just for USC students but faculty is hoping to open it up to all students at college and universities in the state.

Proposed registry will track caretakers convicted of abuse

COLUMBIA, S.C. (WSPA)–State lawmakers are looking at ways to protect adults that can’t fend for themselves. And a recently proposed house bill would make sure those convicted of abusing vulnerable adults are closely monitored.

Representative Garry smith wants to create a system of checks and balances to make sure someone convicted of abusing a vulnerable adult doesn’t have the chance to do it again.

“A lot of times people who have gotten in trouble in one area for abuse whether it be sexual or otherwise move on to another area and get hired by these same sorts of agencies,” explained Representative Smith.

A vulnerable adult is a person over the age of 18 who can’t defend themselves because of a disability. Grenville County Representative Garry Smith wants to make sure they’re protected from abuse and to prevent repeat offenders. Smith says the registry would work the same way the “sex-offender” registry works.

“What we lack is a registry for things have taken place for when a person is convicted of abuse to actively show the world and people looking at future employees that there may be a problem with this particular person,” said Smith.

It would allow anyone… including… potential employers… to go online… and search for a person’s name… and find out if they’ve been convicted of abusing a vulnerable adult.

The bill  will be reviewed in this upcoming session.

SCE&G wants state commission to deny proposals to lower rates
COLUMBIA, S.C. (WSPA)–The fight continues as South Carolina lawmakers battle with utility companies over rate hikes. Lawmakers want SCE&G to refund the millions of dollars customers paid to offset money lost in a failed nuclear plant.
The utility company filed a motion to dismiss proposals that would end the company’s rate hikes. On Tuesday, they presented their argument in front of the Public Service Commission. Bankruptcy is SCE&G’s biggest concern. It all started with the multi-billion dollar plan to construct two nuclear plants, but those plans changed.
Attorney General Alan Wilson was there to testify on behalf of the 700,000 SCANA customers in the state. SCE&G is a subsidiary of the utility company that serves more than 20 counties in the state. “The project was then abandoned. Ratepayers have now paid billions in increased rates and have no nuclear plant to show for it,” said Wilson.
Customers have been picking up the pieces for several years paying an extra $27 a month. Lawmakers want to immediately stop the rate increases and find a way to refund the money to customers, but SCE&G says a move like that could cause the company financial hardship.
One of the attorneys for the utility company explained the damage these proposals could jumpstart. “The credit rating agencies would downgrade its credit rating // it could set in motion a quick cascade of events that would lead to ultimately a bankruptcy filing,” said Belton Zeigler.
One of the offices that approved those price increases says those approvals were based on inaccurate information.
SCE&G is trying to recoup its $450 million investment.
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