School leaders react to Governors teacher pay raise proposal

Published: Mar. 9, 2023 at 7:53 PM CST
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MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WSFA) - Lawmakers are expected to debate the Governor’s proposed teacher pay raise once the special session ends, and the regular session resumes. She suggested a 2% increase in her state-of-the-state address. Those in the education community say it’s a crucial step toward addressing the state’s teacher shortage.

“I want Alabama to be aggressively working to recruit, retain and prepare the teachers of tomorrow,” said Governor Kay Ivey.

Governor Kay Ivey is making her mission known with the proposal of a 2% pay increase for teachers.

“My goal is to have the starting salary for all Alabama teachers to be the highest in the southeast by the end of my term,” said Ivey.

The current starting salary for a teacher with a Bachelor’s degree and less than three years of experience is $43,358. If lawmakers approve this proposed pay raise, it will mark yet another pay increase for teachers since Ivey took office.

Here is a breakdown of the most recent Cost of Living Adjustments/Bonuses for teachers:

  • Fiscal Year 2019 - 2.5%
  • Fiscal Year 2020 - 4.0%
  • Fiscal Year 2022 - 2.0%
  • Fiscal Year 2023 - 4.0%

Source: Legislative Services Agency

“It says we value our teachers. We know that inflation is eating into their paycheck. We want to make sure that we can do consistent raises,” said Dr. Eric Mackey.

State Superintendent Dr. Eric Mackey feels positive this would put the state in the position to attract the best and brightest to teach in Alabama classrooms.

Average teacher salary in Alabama
Average teacher salary in Alabama(WSFA)

“We’re on the right path. We’ve got the right plan. We have got to make sure our teachers are trained up on the most recent research and ways to teach our children how to read and do math. We have to put our foot on the accelerator and do more of it faster,” said Mackey.

Macon County Schools Superintendent Dr. Melissa Williams says this is important when it comes to recruiting and retaining. She says many of their teachers are on alternative certifications.

“A lot of our teachers have alternative certifications and are required to take additional coursework. And so that’s just an extra out-of-pocket expense. And so, you know, the pay raise would also help in that area,” said Dr. Williams.

Mackey says in order to reach the top spot in the southeast for teachers’ pay. There is lots of work still to do.

For more information on teacher compensation around the southeast, you can click here.

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