New teachers would be guaranteed a starting salary of at least 40 thousand dollars under legislation pending in the Illinois Senate.
Senator Andy Manar is sponsoring the bill and says some teachers are living in poverty and that it's time they get paid what they deserve.
" Of course, this bill is subject to debate. At the very least, my hope is that we spark that debate, so that we can begin as policymakers to try to find ways to lift up the profession of teaching. So, that we say with a very loud and clear voice that we value teachers in the State of Illinois."
The current minimum salary of nine to 11 thousand dollars a year was set back in 1980.
Manar says ensuring teachers earn a livable minimum salary is one significant step Illinois can take to recruit more educators into rural and downstate classrooms and address the ongoing shortage.