'It will cost our schools $400,000 per year' How the new minimum wage in Illinois is impacting locals

Minimum wage in Illinois increased by $15 dollars. Now, Marshall schools are having to pay half a million dollars per year to support their staff. This increase not only affects the schools but also small businesses.

Posted: Feb 22, 2019 6:45 PM
Updated: Feb 25, 2019 10:01 AM

TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (WTHI)- Illinois Governor Pritzger signed a bill raising the minimum wage in Illinois. 

It would increase to $15 per hour by 2025, making it the first state in the Midwest to increase their minimum wage to that rate.

It would also cost Marshall Schools over 400,000 per year.

Superintendent Kevin Ross says he didn't expect the bill to pass so quickly but he's more concerned about the "non-certified" workers such as custodial staff and teacher aides.

$400,000 is more than the usual budget prices so keeping those workers at the schools is going to be the biggest challenge.

"I've got good custodians, I've got good aides and we have great secretaries...just great people in these positions and it's just a matter of keeping that in place for the kids," said Ross.

Ross knows others like small businesses and parents share similar concerns.

"How do our local small businesses continue to provide the service they provide? It's the same problem and question for all. How do we continue to take care of our people but also provide service to the community," Ross told us.

Timberlee Fowler is a mother by day and waitress by night, she is included in the group of locals who feel the minimum wage wasn't the best option.

She wants the best for her child's education and she says staff play a vital role.

"I think it very upsetting....I mean with me being in school at one point I loved my janitors. I know one of them that is still there...but they're going to be really upset that they put their time, effort, and their sweat into that job and they're going to make as much as somebody who just walked through the door."

Ross says at this point he is going to continue with school board meetings to ensure that those employees continue to play a role in the Marshall students lives. 

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