LITTLE ROCK, AR (KAIT) - Governor Asa Hutchinson signed a bill into law Monday raising minimum pay for teachers.
Sponsors of the bill, former teachers who serve on the Teacher Advisory Committee, and future teachers from the University of Central Arkansas joined Hutchinson as he signed the bill into legislation.
The bill will increase the minimum salary by $4,000 over the next four years.
Hutchinson said the bill will affect 168 schools out of 235 school districts that are below the minimum salary schedule.
“As a result of this, we will be able to better recruit teachers," Hutchinson said. "And encourage them to enter the profession, as well as to retain those quality teachers that we already have that we don’t want to lose.”
Randi House a kindergarten teacher at Theodore Jones Elementary School in Conway, said the increase is a direct result of a meeting at the Governor’s Mansion last summer about teachers’ concerns over pay.
“For the first time in five years we’ve seen an increase in students going into the profession," House said. "So this is going to draw in more of those incoming teachers and then districts will have to bump up that salary a little bit to meet the law now.”
Executive Director of the Arkansas Education Association Tracey-Ann Nelson said teachers will now have an opportunity to improve their standard of living, and value in the community.
“I appreciate the Governor and Representative Cozart’s leadership on this effort," Nelson said. "It’s a four-year effort, and we’re going to have to meet the marker later on.”
Hutchinson said they have set aside 60 million dollars to help the school districts meet the minimum in increase of teacher pay.
To see bill, click here.