CHICAGO – Local schools will get a boost in recruiting and retaining the best teachers under a new law backed by state Rep. Yehiel “Mark” Kalish, D-Chicago, which increases the minimum starting salary for Illinois teachers.
“The foundation of every great school is built with great teachers,” Kalish said. “Illinois has gone over 40 years without raising the minimum wage for our teachers. The women and men who dedicate their lives to the future of our children deserve a raise.”
Kalish sponsored House Bill 2078, which gradually increases the state’s minimum starting salary for teachers to $40,000 beginning in the 2023-24 school year. Future increases would be automatically tied to the Consumer Price Index. The last Illinois law guiding universal teacher pay was passed in 1980.
According to a 2018 study by the Illinois State Board of Education, in over 500 of Illinois’ 898 school districts, new teachers with a bachelor’s degree received starting salaries less than $40,000. Low, uncompetitive salaries for teachers has led to rapid turnover, decreasing the quality of education, increasing class-sizes and creating the teacher shortage Illinois now faces.
“One great teacher can have a huge impact on a student’s future success,” Kalish said. “That’s why it’s so important that Illinois is paying competitive wages and attracting the best and brightest educators to our local schools.”