SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (WTHI) - The State of Illinois is one step closer to a having law raising the minimum annual teacher salary to $40,000.
According to the Illinois Education Association (IEA), the state legislature passed the bill, ensuring no teacher in Illinois will be able to make less than that amount by 2025.
This comes at a time Illinois is facing a teacher shortage. According to the IEA, last year, more than 1,500 positions went unfilled and more than 2,000 went unfilled the year before.
“In our recently released State of Education in Illinois survey, we asked Illinoisans what words they most associated with teachers. The two most common words were underpaid and undervalued,” said Kathi Griffin, president of the Illinois Education Association.
Currently, the state school code sets the minimum salary for teachers in Illinois at $10,000 a year for those with a bachelor’s degree and $11,000 for those with a master’s degree.
The bill says, "Provides that in fixing the salaries of teachers, a school board shall pay those who serve on a full-time basis a rate not less than (i) $32,076 for the 2020-2021 school year, (ii) $34,576 for the 2021-2022 school year, (iii) $37,076 for the 2022-2023 school year, and (iv) $40,000 for the 2023-2024 school year."
The bill now heads to Governor J.B. Pritzker. Similar legislation passed last year but was vetoed by Gov. Bruce Rauner.