Thursday's Thoughts

PSTA Weekly News

Legislative Update

Next week, the South Carolina General Assembly will convene on Tuesday, January 12th for the start of their new session. Over the next six months, the General Assembly will have an exceptionally full agenda. In addition to the ordinary policy debates of a typical session, the coming session will also be tasked with addressing the generational challenge of COVID-19 and the decennial redistricting process for legislative and congressional districts.

As a result, it will require a collective advocacy effort by educators in order for education policy to remain a priority in the coming session. This process for PSTA started by mailing a copy of our 2021 Legislative Agenda to each of the 170 members of the General Assembly shortly after Election Day in November. Since that time, PSTA staff have met in-person and virtually with members of both the House and Senate, including leadership positions from both parties and members of the education-related committees of both chambers.

However, no one has more power than you to ensure that education is a policy priority for the General Assembly this year and no one has more expertise than the professional educators of our state regarding the types of policies that can help elevate the teaching profession and support student learning in our state. As a result, please consider reaching out to your representatives in the General Assembly now- prior to the start of session- to encourage them to make education a priority in their work. This initial contact is extremely powerful as a means of building relationships prior to the moments later this session when votes will be cast.

To identify your representatives, click here and enter your address. Once you have identified your representatives, consider reaching out with a letter or phone call. If you're not sure what to say, here are some simple talking points:

  • Congratulate them on their election to the General Assembly.
  • Share with them that you are their constituent.
  • Tell them what you believe the top priority for education should be in the 2021 session. You can pull ideas from the PSTA Legislative Agenda, but try to focus on something that you can speak to from your personal experience. The story is more powerful if your experience and expertise can tell the member why the topic is important to address in the legislative session.
  • Thank them for their service to the state and wish them a successful legislative session.

COVID-19 Vaccine Information

Educators and support staff will be able to receive the COVID-19 vaccine in Phase 1b under current state and federal vaccine guidelines. Phase 1b will begin once 70% of South Carolinians identified in Phase 1a have been vaccinated.

School nurses, as critical public health care workers are able to receive the COVID-19 vaccine in the current Phase 1a. SC hospitals have begun outreach, appointment scheduling, and vaccination of school nurses throughout the state.

Visit for the latest information and answers to FAQs on the COVID-19 vaccine.

2021 PSTA Virtual EdCamp

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Be on the look out for the registration link!

Polishing Your Performance with SC TOY Sarah Gams

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Click here to register.

Professional Development Opportunity

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Camp Leopold In-School Trips

Since schools are not able to have field trips due to COVID-19, Camp Leopold can come to your school! This opportunity is free to all schools in South Carolina. Contact Joe Gonzalez at if you are interested in organizing a Camp Leopold +PLUS trip for your class!

Click here for more information.

Celebrate 2021 With Palmetto State Teachers Association's Discount Marketplace!

We realize that work-life balance and general well-being is just as important as health and financial wellness. With the new year upon us, Palmetto State Teachers Association's Discount Marketplace is your one-stop-shop for savings on products, services, and experiences, with new deals added weekly.

As a member of Palmetto State Teachers Association, it’s cost-free and easy to enroll.

Just visit and begin saving today on items like:

Health and wellness products and memberships

• Food and wine delivery

• Electronics and apparel

• Financial and educational services

• Home goods and home office supplies

• Flowers and gifts

• Hotels

• Rental Cars

• Travel, entertainment and so much more!

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Friendly Reminder

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Click on the image below to view the COVID-19 FAQs.