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Bill would set minimum starting salary for teachers at $40K

Senate Bill 2892, which was proposed by Sen. Andy Manar, D-Bunker Hill, would set the minimum starting salary for full-time teachers to $40,000 a year.

Illinois teachers could be seeing a larger paycheck if a new bill makes headway in the Senate.

Senate Bill 2892, which was proposed by Sen. Andy Manar, D-Bunker Hill, would set the minimum starting salary for full-time teachers to $40,000 a year.

“I had to take a 50% pay cut to become a teacher,” Mohsin Habeeb said.

Habeeb is an automotive instructor at a school in the Chicago suburb of Romeoville.

He said his situation is true for many career and technical education teachers.

"Most of us leave high-paying jobs to teach C.T.E.,” Habeeb said.

Habeeb said overall, he thinks setting a minimum starting salary for Illinois teachers would help fill some of the open teaching positions throughout the state.

"The amount of education you have to have, the qualifications you have to have and for everything you have to do to be a teacher; it's true what they say; it's the only job in the world where you'll steal things from home and bring them to work versus doing the opposite," Habeeb said.

The state hasn't updated the law setting the minimum salaries for teachers since 1980.

Currently, minimum mandated salaries are set at $11,000 for teachers with a master's degree, $10,000 for teachers with bachelor's degrees and $9,000 for teachers with less than a bachelor's degree.

Manar said raising the minimum starting salary will help ensure students get taught by the brightest and best.

"If it's a minimum, I think that gives a guarantee to someone who's thinking about going into the profession of teaching, the folks that we want in the profession of teaching,” Manar said. “It would give them an assurance that when they graduate, they have a guaranteed wage."

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