SPRINGFIELD – The Illinois Education Association (IEA) President Kathi Griffin today released the following statement regarding the Illinois General Assembly’s passage of SB 2892. This bill will raise the minimum salary for teachers in Illinois to $40,000 a year and will be phased in over a four-year period.

“We strongly encourage Governor Bruce Rauner to sign the new minimum teacher salary bill into law. Raising the minimum salary to $40,000 a year is not only the right thing to do for our educators, it’s the right thing to do for our students and public education as a whole. The current minimum teacher salary in Illinois is $10,000 to $11,000.  That’s not a livable wage or any way to attract and retain the best teachers for our students. Teachers are a vital part of every community in the state and deserve a salary which reflects their importance and shows the respect that communities have for their public school teachers.

The next step we need to take as a state is to make sure our education support professionals are making a livable wage. Without our classroom aides, para-professionals, secretaries, bus drivers, cooks and other support staff our school districts could not operate. Our students deserve dedicated caring professionals working with them in their schools, and if we are going to attract the best and brightest, we need to start paying them a living wage and honoring their value to our schools.”

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The 135,000 member Illinois Education Association (IEA-NEA) is the state’s largest education employee’s organization. IEA represents preK-12 teachers outside of the city of Chicago and education support staff, higher education faculty, retired education employees and students preparing to become teachers, statewide.