Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker signed legislation Thursday raising the minimum salary for teachers across the state.
House Bill 2078 will gradually increase the minimum salary for teachers over the next four years, reaching $40,000 by the 2023-2024 school year.
"As Illinois' children head back to school this week and next, this new law says to them and to their parents loud and clear we value teachers," Pritzker said just before signing the bill.
Beginning next school year, the minimum salary will be $32,076, then $34,576 the year after that, according to the bill. The 2022-2023 school year will have a minimum teacher salary of $37,076, reaching its peak the following year.
For each year after that, the legislation states that the minimum salary will rise in accordance with the increase in the Consumer Price Index. Prior to HB 2078, the minimum salary for teachers across the state (and through the current school year) has been $10,000 for an educator with a bachelor's degree and $11,000 for one with a master's degree.
The bill is one way in which Pritzker said he plans to address a statewide teacher shortage. At the start of last school year, there were more than 1,400 vacant classroom positions across Illinois, according to the state board of education.
Earlier this month, Pritzker signed a bill eliminating a requirement that teacher candidates pass a basic skills test to get an education license - a test that cost $60 and that supporters of the legislation said was duplicative and unnecessary.