FLORENCE, S.C. – Sen. Kamala Harris says she plans to raise teacher pay to the level of other similarly educated professionals.
Harris outlined her education plan at stops Sunday in Hartsville and Florence.
She said the United States is facing a teacher pay crisis and public school teachers earn 11% less than similarly educated professionals. She added that teachers are more likely than non-teachers to work a second job and that 94% of teachers are paying out of pocket for school supplies.
Her plan is to provide teachers with base pay increases of over $9,000 in South Carolina.
According to her campaign website, the plan is estimated to cost the federal government around $315 billion over 10 years. To pay for the plan, Harris’s website said, she would work to strengthen the estate tax.
Harris also outlined a plan to combat violence with guns.
She said lawmakers have been presented a false choice: preserving the Second Amendment or taking everyone’s guns away.
If she is elected and Congress fails to send her comprehensive gun safety legislation to sign with 100 days of her taking office, she said, she will mandate the most comprehensive federal background checks in history, revoke the licenses of gun manufacturers that break the law, close the “boyfriend loophole” to make it harder for domestic abusers to purchase guns, reverse President Donald Trump’s decision to allow fugitives from justice to purchase guns, and ban the importation of AR-15- style weapons.
She said that there were plenty of good ideas on gun violence, many of which were proposed in a recent Democratic debate.
Harris also outlined a plan to ensure that women receive equal pay for equal work.
Rather than relying on a system in which the burden is on the employees to prove that they’re not receiving equal pay, Harris said, she would shift the burden to employers. Employers would be required to obtain an equal-pay certification.
Harris said companies caught violating the Equal Pay Act would be fined an equal share of their profits.
Harris declared her campaign for president on Jan. 21.
She has been a member of the Senate since 2017. Prior to the Senate, she served as 32nd California attorney general from 2011 to 2017. She served as district attorney for San Francisco from 2004 to 2011.
Harris was born in Oakland, Calif., to a Tamil Indian mother and a Jamaican father. She is a graduate of Howard University and the University of California Hastings School of Law.
The South Carolina Democratic primary is scheduled for Feb. 29, 2020.