DECATUR, Ill. – A proposal sponsored by state Rep. Sue Scherer, D-Decatur, aimed at ending the teacher shortage in central Illinois by raising the starting salary of new teachers is now law.
“In central Illinois, rural communities across Illinois, and communities of color, the teacher shortage is causing a spike in class size, and larger classes sizes deny our students the individualized education they need to reach their full potential,” Scherer said. “Raising the minimum teacher salary reflects the importance of the work they do, and invests in what matters most: our children.”
Scherer sponsored House Bill 2078, which sets a minimum salary for full-time teachers gradually reaching a starting 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.
“As a former teacher of 34 years, I have seen the impact that one great teacher can have on a student,” Scherer said. “This new law will help recruit and retain the best and brightest educators who will make a difference in the lives of students across Illinois.”