Bipartisan support for gradual update of Illinois’ minimum teacher salary after 38 years

05172018 Manar Interview 350SPRINGFIELD – An effort to update Illinois’ minimum mandated salary for teachers – one that could attract more young people to the profession by sending a message that their work is valued – was approved by the Illinois Senate Thursday.

Illinois has not updated its minimum mandated salary for teachers since 1980. For 38 years, state statute has required Illinois school districts to pay teachers a minimum salary of about $10,000. Based on decades of inflation, the minimum mandated salary should be about $32,000.

“Is a full-time teacher worth $32,000 a year? That’s the question this bill proposes, and I believe the answer is an emphatic yes,” said State Senator Andy Manar, a Bunker Hill Democrat and the sponsor of the proposal.

Under the measure, the state would update the minimum mandated salary for teachers annually for the next four years. After that, subject to review by the General Assembly, it would be increased according to the Consumer Price Index. The phase-in looks like this under the proposal:

  • $32,076 minimum for the 2019-2020 school year
  • $34,576 minimum for the 2020-2021 school year
  • $37,076 minimum for the 2021-2022 school year
  • $40,000 minimum for the 2022-2023 school year

“There are teachers in the Senate district I represent who live below the federal poverty level today – that’s a fact, and it’s happening all over Illinois. Yet we continue to ask teachers to do more with less, to cure the ills of society and to give away more of the pensions they’ve earned,” Manar said.

“We have chipped away at this over time, and if we don’t guarantee a decent salary for college graduates, we’re not going to get young people to go into this profession in the first place.”

The proposal, Senate Bill 2892, passed 37-16 and received bipartisan support.

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School Funding Reform

 

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