Late last week, Governor Bruce Rauner vetoed a measure that would’ve given Illinois school teachers a base salary of 40-thousand-dollars by the year 20-22.
But, State Senator Andy Manar, who sponsored the legislation, says he’s hoping to save it.
The last time state lawmakers set a minimum teacher salary was 1980, and the salary they set was $10,000. Today, that’s still the law in Illinois, and some say it’s a major factor in the current teacher shortage. Manar, a Democrat from Bunker Hill, calls it a crisis.
"And it's not going to get better just because we wish it. It's going to get better with bold policy change. And I'm disappointed that the governor couldn't see that. And he doesn't understand the issue enough to know it, because this bill should have gotten his signature."
Manar hopes to gather enough votes to override the veto.
"There should be no teacher in Illinois that lives in poverty. There should be no young teacher who's been in the classroom for one or two years that has to worry about how they're going to pay off a student loan. I mean, that's the circumstances today, and that's why we have a teacher shortage."
Rauner suggested addressing the shortage by paying higher salaries for teaching certain subjects. Manar says that’s a good idea, but called it “nibbling around the edges” of a larger problem. Currently, more than 525 school districts in Illinois offer minimum salaries below $40,000.
The bill earned a veto-proof majority in the Senate, but fell short by six votes in the House.