Gov. Bruce Rauner vetoed a bill this weekend that would have raised the minimum salary for Illinois public school teachers to $40,000 by 2022.
In his veto message, Rauner says legislation isn’t the best way to raise teacher pay.
Rauner says he’s concerned such a measure would limit local control of school districts... AND impose a burden in the form of an unfunded mandate.
Jim Reed, government relations director for the Illinois Education Association, disagrees. The union crafted the teacher minimum wage bill. Reed says the state’s new school funding formula would help districts pay for the salary increases.
"It would provide additional funding for school districts to be able to plan and to manage finances to get their staff up to what we believe is certainly a minimum salary for what they’re worth.”
Rauner encouraged school districts to provide pay incentives for teachers in hard to staff schools or subject areas — among other measures.
But, Reed says local efforts aren’t going to turn around the state’s teacher shortage. He describes the shortage as a crisis.
“And you don’t address that by sort of sitting back on your hands and letting districts decide what kind of incentives they can provide.”
Reed says IEA will consult with lawmakers to see if there’s enough support to override the veto.