Future teachers lobby for scholarship program

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — Teacher advocates say a scholarship program designed to attract South Carolina’s top students into public school classrooms must be maintained.

Teachers-in-training at participating colleges came to the Statehouse on Thursday to advocate the program’s continued importance amid an economic downturn that resulted in thousands of teacher layoffs.

In the past, students chosen for the rigorous Teaching Fellows Program received scholarships of up to $6,000 a year for four years. The recession has led to smaller amounts for fewer students.

Last summer, 122 students were selected to receive $5,000 a year.

Students must teach in a public school one year for every year they receive a scholarship, or pay back the money.

Senate Education Chairman John Courson says he expects the Legislature to maintain funding to retain the best and brightest.
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