(WSIL) — Illinois teachers are waiting on Governor J.B. Pritzker to sign into law a bill that will set a minimum teacher’s salary at $40,000 per year.
House Bill 2078 was passed by Illinois state lawmakers June 1, it will make the minimum salary ($40,000) effective as of 2025. Governor Pritzker is expected to sign the legislation, unlike his predecessor. Similar legislation passed last year, but was vetoed by former Governor Bruce Rauner.
Vienna High School superintendent, Joshua Stafford, says teachers aren’t getting paid what they deserve, "Education is one of the most important things that we do collectively as a community. Our teachers are on the front line of that day-in and day-out."
Stafford says some teachers are earning $30,000 or less, and he doesn’t believe it is right, "Teachers should be paid, and paid well."
School officials like Stafford say the pay is causing a teacher shortage. In 2018, more than 1,500 positions went unfilled, and in 2017, more than 2,000 went unfilled.
Stafford says that number can easily be fixed by valuing educators, "We need strong teachers qualified teachers that are paid well filling those positions in our classrooms."