New Law Gives Teachers 30-Minute Student-Free Break Each Day And Ban Lunch Debt Collections

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Laws enacted in South Carolina this year mandate that primary school teachers have a 30-minute break each day without students and prohibit districts from transferring school food bills to collection agencies. It was signed into law by Governor Henry McMaster on the last day of the 2022 General Assembly session. Both were approved unanimously by the House and Senate.

Teachers in elementary and special education who have kids in their classrooms for the most of the day are required to take a 30-minute break under the terms of the break law. There was a petition from teachers’ associations that said teachers were so busy with students that they didn’t have time to eat or even use the restroom.

A second law prevents school districts from handing over to a collection agency debts owed by students for school meals. Supporters said that students must eat regardless of their financial situation, and that handing their debts over to a collection agency was an unnecessary harsh measure.