Illinois passes law raising teachers' minimum salary to $40,000

Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker (D) signed legislation Thursday that would raise the minimum salary a teacher can earn in the state to $40,000 by the first day of school in 2023.

“As Illinois children head back to school this week and next, this new law says to them and their parents loud and clear: we value teachers,” Pritzker said in a series of tweets. 

Under H.B. 2078, the Illinois School Code would be amended to raise the minimum salary a teacher can earn in the state incrementally over the next several years. 

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School districts would be required to pay full-time teachers a minimum salary of $32,076 for the 2020-2021 school year, $34,576 for the 2021-2022 school year, $37,076 for the 2022-2023 school year and $40,000 for the 2023-2024 school year.

A synopsis of the bill notes that the minimum salary rate for each school year thereafter “shall equal the minimum salary rate for the previous school year increased by a percentage equal to the percentage increase, if any, in the Consumer Price Index For All Urban Consumers for all items published by the United States Department of Labor for the previous school year.”

Prior to the law’s passage, the minimum salary a teacher could earn with a bachelor’s degree in the state was $10,000 annually. Teachers with master’s degrees reportedly could earn a minimum salary of $11,000.

The bill’s enactment reportedly marks the first time the school code has been amended to update the minimum salary requirements for teachers since 1980. 

The news follows another bill Pritzker signed into law earlier this year that aims to raise the state's minimum wage to $15 an hour by 2025.