SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (KFVS/AP) - Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner has a vetoed bill that would have given public school teachers an annual minimum salary of $40,000 over the next five years.
Legislators approved the bill in May for increasing the minimum full-time teacher pay, saying the step would help attract and keep more teachers. It would have made next school year's minimum pay about $32,000.
Marsha Griffin a member of IEA and who is currently running as a candidate for State Representative in Illinois' 115th House District says that there is a teacher crisis in the state because of the low wages. According to the Illinois State Board of Education over 2,000 teacher positions went unfulfilled in the 2016-2017 school year.
"There are so many demands on teachers because of high stakes testing and other issues, there are more expectations on teachers and to attract," said Griffin. "You have to make sure you have education fully funded, because we've had a crisis with a budget stalemate, were in crisis mode here."
Rauner says he vetoed the bill Sunday because the minimum pay is an inefficient way to compensate teachers and is an unfunded mandate on school districts. The Republican governor says districts should consider steps such as merit pay and extra money for teachers in difficult-to-staff schools or subjects.
Democratic gubernatorial nominee J.B. Pritzker says Rauner is denying pay raises to educators while the state is facing a growing teacher shortage.