Bruce Rauner, the multi-millionaire Republican Governor of Illinois, has vetoed a bill that would require all teacher salaries to reach $40,000 a year by the year 2022.
Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner has vetoed a bill that would have raised the minimum salary for full-time public school teachers to $40,000 within five years.
Legislators approved the bill in May that would have increased the minimum full-time teacher pay, saying it would help attract and keep more teachers.
The bill would have increased minimum pay to $32,076 for the 2019-2020 school year, $34,576 for 2020-2021, $37,076 for 2021-2022 and $40,000 for 2022-2023.
The bill was passed in order to address a teacher shortage that has been described as being “dire and getting worse”.
The shortage affects both city and country areas. It reaches large and small districts. With students returning in coming weeks, it concerns Regional Superintendent Angie Zarvell.
“It’s dire,” she said on Monday, July 2. “Over the past few years, it’s gotten significantly worse.”
She’s not alone. Nearly 80% of Illinois districts report problems with teacher shortages.
Teacher salaries have been getting worse for years, leading to fewer people choosing it as a career option.
“The people that we want to be in front of a classroom of kids, those people are choosing other professions because they pay better,” Manar said.
Data from the U.S. Department of Education shows teacher salaries have declined 7.5 percent since 2000, adjusted for inflation, and local districts have been reporting challenges in finding new talent.
“We definitely feel the impact of the teacher shortage just like other districts in the state,” said Warrensburg-Latham Superintendent Kristen Kendrick-Weikle. “For certain positions you would’ve gotten 50 to 70 (applicants) even six years ago. Now, you would get maybe 10 or less.”
In the end, these teacher shortages, caused by low teacher salaries, hurt the children the most. Less teachers in general results in lower qualifications for teachers, more substitute teachers, and more teachers being asked to teach in subjects they are not as well prepared to teach. And, perhaps most obviously, less teachers results in more students in each classroom. All of these factors have been shown over and over again to be a detriment to student performance.
- Smaller classes in the early grades (K-3) can boost student academic achievement;
- A class size of no more than 18 students per teacher is required to produce the greatest benefits;
- A program spanning grades K-3 will produce more benefits than a program that reaches students in only one or two of the primary grades;
- Minority and low-income students show even greater gains when placed in small classes in the primary grades;
- he experience and preparation of teachers is a critical factor in the success or failure of class size reduction programs;
- Reducing class size will have little effect without enough classrooms and well-qualified teachers; and
- Supports, such as professional development for teachers and a rigorous curriculum, enhance the effect of reduced class size on academic achievement.
But, for Republican politicians, student performance is not a priority. What Republican politicians are really after when it comes to education policy is to tear down public schools so that more and more students can be moved to for-profit charter schools and profit can be extracted. Of course, these for-profit charter schools have also been shown to result in poorer student performance. Take Ohio, for example:
“On average charter school students in Ohio have less learning in a year than their district school peers. This shortfall in learning can be equated to a student losing about 14 days of learning in reading and 43 days in math based on a hypothetical 180-day school year.”
The report holds even more bad news for charter management organizations (CMOs): students in schools managed by large CMOs, like Ohio’s White Hat, perform worse than students in public schools or in stand-alone charter schools without a management company:
“[O]n average, students enrolled in CMO charters are more disadvantaged in both reading and math learning gains than students in non-CMO charters schools.”
But again, student performance is not the priority for these Republican politicians. Profit is the priority. It’s not like they care about having a more educated workforce anyway. As can be seen by their anti-union policies, all they want is a cheap workforce.