Local state lawmakers praised the signing of a bill to raise the minimum salary for Illinois public school teachers to $40,000 a year over the next five years.
State Sen. Michael Hastings, D-Tinley Park, was a co-sponsor of the bill as it made its way through the Illinois Senate, according to a news release. Gov. JB Pritzker signed the bill last week.
“Teachers deserve to earn a living wage regardless of where they live across our state,” Hastings said. “I personally know teachers that take money out of their own pockets to decorate classrooms and purchase supplies. I’m proud to be able to say that we’re acting on behalf of the selfless men and women who we are entrusting with our children’s well-being.”
State Rep. Mark Batinick, R-Plainfield, also backed the legislation in the General Assembly.
“Illinois is currently in the middle of a teacher shortage,” Batinick said. “A main driver of this shortage is the low pay and high demands related to the field, especially in rural areas of our state.”
Under the law, the state will update the minimum salary incrementally each year, starting in the 2020-21 school year.
The minimum salary will be $32,076 for the 2020-21 school year, $34,576 for the 2021-22 school year, $37,076 for the 2022-23 school year and $40,000 for the 2023-24 school year.
“With this legislation, we’re sending a message to prospective teachers in and around our state that Illinois is ready to offer a stable living situation for these dedicated individuals,” Hastings said.