Sheheen education plan focuses on 4K, teacher pay

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COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — State Sen. Vincent Sheheen's plan for improving South Carolina's public schools includes further expanding access to 4-year-old kindergarten, increasing teacher salaries and reducing class sizes.

The Democratic gubernatorial candidate released his education initiative Monday, ahead of several weeks of meetings he plans to hold with teachers and parents.

Sheheen has successfully pushed for the last two years expanding state-paid, full-day 4-year-old kindergarten to more districts. That program is specifically for at-risk students. Sheheen wants to eventually open it up to all 4-year-olds statewide whose parents want them to attend.

He says increasing teacher salaries to the national average will help attract students into the field and keep high-quality teachers.

Sheheen did not provide cost estimates. He says he realizes those ideas would need to be phased in over several years.

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