Millett bill receives committee approval to raise teacher minimum wage to $40,000

Posted: March 15, 2019 | Senator Millett

AUGUSTA — Legislation from Sen. Rebecca Millett, D-Cape Elizabeth, LD 898, “An Act To Provide for a Professional Wage and Support for New Educators” received a 6-4 passing vote from the Legislature’s Education and Cultural Affairs Committee on Wednesday. The bill would increase the minimum salary for certified teachers to $40,000 beginning in the 2020-2021 school year.

 

“Maine’s future depends on the quality of education our children receive,” said Sen. Millett. “Ensuring our teachers have quality training, strong mentors and a livable wage is one piece of ensuring our children have the best classroom experience.”

 

LD 898 would require certified teachers or education specialists receive high-quality professional development, provide a program of intensive support for conditionally certified teachers and establish the minimum salary at $40,000. The bill provides steps to recruit high-quality candidates, strengthen competencies, and provide compensation that recognizes and supports strong public education.

 

Maine has a current shortage of teachers in industrial arts, mathematics, science, special education and world languages. In addition, nearly one third of Maine teachers are 55 or older, which means that in the next five to seven years, thousands of educators are going to retire, further exacerbating the shortage. Without adequate pay, it is difficult to close this gap.

 

The bill now faces votes before the full Maine House and Senate.