Pritzker signs teacher salary increase

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SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (WCIA)– Teachers around Illinois are set to will make at least $40,000 by 2023 thanks to a new law Governor J.B. Pritzker signed Thursday. The governor said the move is about taking a stand behind teachers to help end the shortage of educators in the state.

Many teachers in Illinois thought last year would be their year but they said despite the delay, they are just glad the raise came.

In 2018, lawmakers passed a similar bill before former Governor Rauner vetoed the legislation. Just like the new law, that bill would raise the minimum salary for teachers to $40,000 over five years.

Rauner said a minimum pay law was not the most effective way to compensate teachers, calling it an unfunded mandate.

Governor Pritzker said he signed the law so that districts will not miss out on teachers who can’t afford to take the job. “We put forward historic levels on funding in FY20. Together, with this bill that I am signing today, we are helping put teachers and paraprofessionals into our state’s most challenged districts,” Pritzker said.

The state budget included a $375 million increase for kindergarten through 12th grade funding. The governor said there are around 8,000 teachers being paid less than $40,000 in the state right now.

Before the law, the minimum salaries for teachers without bachelor’s degree was $9,000 a year, $10,000 a year with a bachelor’s degree and $11,000 a year with a master’s degree.

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