AURORA, Ill. – As an effort to address the teacher shortage occurring throughout Illinois, state Rep. Barbara Hernandez, D-Aurora, recently supported legislation that will raise the required minimum salary for incoming teachers to $40,000.
“Teaching is one of the most important professions in our society, yet we have historically underpaid teachers in comparison with other important professions,” said Hernandez. “I support this bill because I support teachers, and it is unacceptable for an incoming teacher have a salary that cannot support their lives.”
Hernandez backed House Bill 2078, which would raise minimum salary requirements for school districts across Illinois, gradually increasing to $40,000 over four years. Illinois has faced a severe teacher shortage with nearly 2,000 unfilled positions in just the past two years. The current state-required minimum salary is just $10,000 a year for an incoming teacher with a bachelor’s degree.
“This will be a crucial first step in recruiting new teachers in our state,” said Hernandez. “The current teacher shortage is negatively affecting students, and we cannot expect quality teachers to enter the profession if they will not be fairly compensated.”