Illinois Is Raising Teacher Pay To A Minimum Of $40,000

The bill is expected to attract more teaching talent.

In an effort to address a shortage of teachers, Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker signed a bill that would make the minimum salary $40,000 for teachers in the state. 

The bill will slowly raise the salaries over the course of four years. Currently, minimum teacher salaries in Illinois are just $9,000 to $11,000, the Associated Press reported.

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"To teachers all across Illinois: I see the care and compassion you put into your work, and I'm proud to help make sure you earn what you're worth," Pritzker tweeted. 

Data from the Illinois State Board of Education says there 1,848 unfilled teacher positions in the 2018-2019 school year. Right now, the average teacher in Illinois makes $65,721, which ranks 11th across the country. 

Education policies like raising the minimum salaries for teachers have become popular across the country, and some experts believe they can improve the quantity and quality of teachers in public schools. After national walkouts for more pay were staged across the country, at least 15 states have given raises to their teachers in the last year. Still, the National Education Association says teacher pay — when adjusted for inflation — is declining.

According to a USA Today poll, nearly 60 percent of Americans said teachers were underpaid and should be said more. 8 in 10 said teachers have to spend too much of their own money on school supplies. 

Shutterstock / Sheila Fitzgerald

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