Illinois took a big step toward elevating the teaching profession earlier today when Gov. Pritzker signed into law a bill that will raise the minimum salary for Illinois teachers.
At the bill signing event, Gov. Pritzker said, “As Illinois' children head back to school, this week and next, this new law says to children and their parents, loud and clear: we value teachers.”
Stand advocates pushed hard for this bill to be enacted to support our State’s teachers and students. Before, the School Code literally said that a teacher has a minimum salary of only between $9,000 and $11,000 a year, a rate that hadn’t changed since 1980!
Now, teachers will be respected like the true professionals they are. The law sends a message to prospective teachers that they are valued and will be compensated fairly.
The new law will gradually raise the minimum teacher salary to $40,000 by 2023. This will help Illinois deal with its very real teacher shortage, especially in districts outside Chicago. Eighty-five percent of statewide districts have reported a “major or minor problem” with staffing teachers, up from 78% a year ago.
Illinois teachers and students deserve the best. Thanks to the new law signed today by Gov. Pritzker, the State took a solid step in that direction.