Teacher Pay Raise, ADA Hold Harmless, Licensure Bills Pass Senate Ed Committee

Senate Bill 2001, a teacher pay raise bill, passed unanimously in the Senate Education Committee this afternoon.  It must now pass the Appropriations Committee before going to the floor of the full Senate for a vote. The bill gives certified teachers with three or more years’ experience a $1,000 pay increase. Teachers with two years of experience and less will get a slightly larger pay bump of $1,110 to bring them to an even $37,000 starting salary. Assistant teachers will receive a $1,000 pay increase. All increases are effective July 1, 2021.

Chairman DeBar made it clear that this salary increase, while smaller than he would like, is just the beginning of efforts to improve teacher pay and address the teacher shortage crisis. The chairman thanked committee members for taking up the teacher pay raise bill so early in the session, stressing that it is important to let teachers know how much legislators appreciate them during these trying times.

The committee also passed Senate Bills 2149 and 2267. SB 2149 allows school districts to be held harmless for average daily attendance (ADA) for purposes of the MAEP calculation this year, due to the extraordinary number of absences related to the pandemic. The bill will fend off dramatic budget cuts for school districts by using 2019-2020 ADA in the FY2022 MAEP calculation. SB 2267 provides automatic reciprocity for teachers who hold licenses in other states and pass a background check, a move to help alleviate our teacher shortage that will become effective upon passage. 

Please join us in thanking the Senate Education Committee for putting an increase in teacher pay and protections for public school budgets at the top of their to-do list. It is significant. We look forward to working with legislators in both chambers to make the 2021 Legislative Session a great one for public education. Bookmark our bill tracker to follow key education legislation throughout the session. Together, we’ve got this!

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