SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – Legislation introduced by state Rep. Katie Stuart, D-Edwardsville, to increase the minimum salary for teachers was signed into law by Gov. J.B. Pritzker this week.
“Time and time again, I hear that teaching is one of the most important professions in our state, but we have not seen that reflected in how teachers are paid,” said Stuart. “By establishing a new minimum salary for teachers, we are ensuring that teachers know they are valued here in the state of Illinois.”
Stuart’s House Bill 2078 creates a gradual pay increase for teachers, eventually reaching a minimum salary of $40,000 by the year 2024. Currently, the lowest starting salaries for teachers are around $27,000, which makes it difficult for districts around Illinois to retain qualified and talented teachers. Gradual pay adjustments to those affected by the new minimum salary will begin in the 2020 -2021 school year.
“Over the past few years, we have seen a teacher shortage emerge across the state,” said Stuart. “Last school year, around 1,400 positions for teachers remained open. Establishing a new minimum salary for teachers will help to fill some of those open positions and shows that Illinois has gotten on the right track to invest in our educators and our education system.”