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.

SPRINGFIELD – Audit results released today regarding the Rauner administration’s pricey lease of a Springfield warehouse for paper storage confirms what some lawmakers have known all along: that the deal doesn’t pass the smell test.

State Senator Andy Manar (D-Bunker Hill), chairman of the Senate Appropriations II Committee, said he is troubled by the audit report.

“At various points in the process, people chose to ignore rules, guidelines and best practices that are there to eliminate questions about backroom deals and political favors,” Manar said. “This was an unnecessary cost to taxpayers, and it seems to me the problems uncovered by this audit merit further scrutiny.”

A summary of the audit can be found here. The full audit can be found here.

Background on the situation can be found here and here.

“I still have a lot of questions, and I think it is clear more conversations should occur, not the least of which are about the ethical expectations and the spending priorities of the Rauner administration,” Manar said.

“Ultimately, I think the average Illinois taxpayer doesn’t believe we should be spending money on politically connected leases for storing paper. We have more important needs in Illinois. I’ve never understood why any of this happened to begin with.”

05092018 Manar Keele McConnell 350SPRINGFIELD – State Senator Andy Manar welcomed Madison Keele, a senior at Nokomis High School, and Emma McConnell, an eighth-grader at Lutheran School Association of Decatur, to the Capitol last week as his senators for the day.

Keele, 18, of Nokomis is the daughter of Brent and Amanda Keele. She follows politics closely, enjoys reading and art, and has a passion for language. She will attend Cornell University in the fall, where she plans to double major in government and Russian. She intends to go to law school after earning her degrees.

McConnell, 13, of Oreana is the daughter of Gary McConnell and Heather McConnell-Smith and Kevin Smith. She plays soccer and is involved in choir, Girls Who Code, and St. John’s Youth Group. She enjoys reading and writing.

Keele and McConnell visited the Capitol on Wednesday, May 9. While there, they toured the building and accompanied Manar on the Senate floor for a busy afternoon of debate and votes on key legislation.

Each teen spoke with Manar for a video about their experience at the Capitol, their education, their interests and their plans for the future. Watch their videos below.


Madison Keele and State Senator Andy Manar senator for a day video


Emma McConnell and State Senator Andy Manar senator for a day video

05082018 Manar Young 350SPRINGFIELD – Elder Michael Young of the Main Street Church of the Living God in Decatur delivered the invocation to the Illinois Senate on Tuesday, May 8.

“Lord, I ask that you bless this 100th General Assembly and everyone under the sound of my voice. Lord, I ask that the decisions made today will make the cities and towns of Illinois prosperous, peaceful and safe,” Young said in offering an opening prayer and words of encouragement to lawmakers.

Senator Andy Manar (D-Bunker Hill) invited Young to deliver the invocation. Main Street Church of the Living God is located at 2000 N. Main St. in Decatur.

Pictured: Elder Michael Young of the Main Street Church of the Living God (left) and State Senator Andy Manar on the floor of the Illinois Senate, Tuesday, May 8, 2018.


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