15 states to give teachers pay raises

15 states to give teachers pay raises

FILE PHOTO: At least 22 states proposed legislation to give teachers a raise, according to an Education Week analysis. As of mid-June, 15 of those states have passed bills to increase teacher pay. (Photo: Wokandapix/Pixabay)

With teacher pay a hot topic in state legislatures across the country, at least 22 states proposed legislation to give teachers a raise, according to an Education Week analysis. As of mid-June, 15 of those states have passed bills to increase teacher pay.

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First-term Gov. Brian Kemp, of Georgia, promised $3,000 for all teachers in the state, but not all districts were able to keep that promise initially. In Atlanta Public Schools, the average pay increase was first expected to be $2,000. The district announced Friday, however, it would be increasing it to $3,000 since anticipated tax revenues are higher than first projected.

Georgia public school teachers are among the top-paid teachers among those who got state-mandated raises this year.

Here’s a look at data provided by Education Week.

Alabama

Governor's proposal: Republican Gov. Kay Ivey proposed raising teachers’ pay statewide by 4%, which she estimated would cost about $140 million.

Legislative action: The Legislature sent to Ivey’s desk a proposal that would raise the base pay from $39,301 a year to $40,873. A teacher with a master’s degree and more than 15 years of experience would see a salary increase from $54,762 to $56,952.

Average teacher pay: $50,810

Arizona

Governor's proposal: Republican Gov. Doug Ducey promised teachers he would raise the state’s average teacher pay by 20% by 2020. He proposed implementing the second phase this year, increasing teacher pay by 5% to $55,361.

Legislative action: The Legislature approved an $11.8 billion budget that includes the second of the three phases of the “20 by 2020 plan.”

Average teacher pay: $49,892

Arkansas

Governor's proposal: Republican Gov. Asa Hutchinson proposed increasing the state’s minimum pay by $4,000 over the next four years.

Legislative action: The Legislature sent to the governor the Teacher Salary Enhancement Act which would increase minimum pay for teachers by $1,000 each of the next four years, from $31,400 to $36,000.

Average teacher pay: $51,019

Georgia

Governor's proposal: Republican Gov. Brian Kemp proposed a $3,000 raise for teachers.

Legislative action: The Legislature approved $27.5 billion budget that included money for districts to provide $3,000 for every teacher.

Average teacher pay: $57,137

Idaho

Governor's proposal: Republican Gov. Brad Little said he wanted to raise the state’s minimum teacher salary to $40,000.

Legislative action: The Legislature passed a bill to increase the teachers’ minimum wage from $35,800 to $38,500 next year and $40,000 the following year. It will cost the state more than $10 million.

Average teacher pay: $50,757

Indiana

Governor's proposal: Republican Gov. Eric Holcomb wanted to pay down districts’ pension debt to free up more than $572 million for districts to provide pay increases.

Legislative action: The Legislature sent to the governor’s desk a budget that paid down $150 million of districts’ pension debt.

Average teacher pay: $50,937

Mississippi

Governor's proposal: Republican Gov. Phil Bryant proposed teachers get a $3,000 raise at an estimated cost of about $50 million.

Legislative action: The Legislature sent to the governor’s desk a bill that would provide a $1,500 raise.

Average teacher pay: $45,574

Nevada

Governor's proposal: Democratic Gov. Steve Sisolak asked the Legislature to fund a 3% pay raise for teachers, which would cost $89.4 million in fiscal year 2020 and $91.2 million in fiscal year 2021.

Legislative action: The Legislature agreed to a 3% pay raise.

Average teacher pay: $54,280

New Mexico

Governor's proposal: Democratic Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham proposed a 6% across-the-board raise for teachers. She also wanted to raise the minimum salaries for every level of educators by at least 10%, for a total cost of $194 million.

Legislative action: The Legislature gave a 6 percent raise for all school staff, from principals to cafeteria workers; also raised minimum salaries for teachers at all three levels of licensure. For beginning teachers, the base increased from $36,000 to $40,000; for level two teachers, from $44,000 to $50,000; and for level three teachers, from $54,000 to $60,000.

Average teacher pay: $47,826

North Dakota

Governor's proposal: Republican Gov. Doug Burgum proposed increasing the education budget by 2%, or $62 million, which he said would inevitably result in a teacher pay raise.

Legislative action: The Legislature approved an increase in its biennial education budget by 2%.

Average teacher pay: $53,434

Oklahoma

Governor's proposal: Republican Gov. Kevin Stitt proposed a $1,200 teacher pay raise, for a total cost of about $60 million.

Legislative action: The Legislature passed an average $1,220 salary increase for districts that are on the state funding formula, which amounts to 97% of Oklahoma’s public school teachers.

Average teacher pay: $52,412

South Carolina

Governor's proposal: Republican Gov. Henry McMaster proposed a 5% teacher pay raise for a total cost of $155 million.

Legislative action: The Legislature dedicated nearly $160 million to teachers’ raises, raised teachers’ starting pay from $32,000 to $35,000 and gave an across-the-board 4% pay raise. Teachers with fewer than five years of experience will receive an up to 10% raise in an attempt to keep more teachers in the classroom.

Average teacher pay: $50,395

Tennesse

Governor's proposal: Republican Gov. Bill Lee proposed a 2.5% teacher pay raise for a total cost of $71.3 million.

Legislative action: The Legislature agreed to fund the 2.5% teacher pay raise.

Average teacher pay: $51,714

Texas

Governor's proposal: Republican Gov. Greg Abbott suggested raising pay through a performance-based system.

Legislative action: The Legislature agreed to increase the pot for teacher salaries by about $2 billion. The exact amount each teacher will receive will vary from district to district, but lawmakers said the raises will amount to about $4,000 for veteran teachers. The school finance bill also includes money for districts that want to start merit pay programs, so high-rated teachers could receive a bonus of several thousand dollars.

Average teacher pay: $54,155

Virgina

Governor's proposal: Democratic Gov. Ralph Northam proposed an additional 2% teacher pay raise on top of an already-approved 3% raise for a cost of $88 million.

Legislative action: The Legislature agreed to fund a total 5% raise.

Average teacher pay: $52,466