Both sides respond on Arkansas teacher pay bill
LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KAIT) - Both the Arkansas House and Senate Democrats continue to push for higher teacher pay and filed a bill on Thursday, Jan 28 called the RAISE Act of 2023 according to our content-sharing partner.
Both Republicans and Democrats said they want higher teacher salaries, but the way to do it is up for debate.
“We wanted to bring it back again, obviously it wasn’t successful,” said House Minority Leader Tippi McCullough (D-District 74). “The governor didn’t take it up in the special session, so we wanted to bring it back the 2023 version of it this time because it’s still our priority.”
This bill would raise starting teacher pay from $36,000 to $50,000 and include a $10,000 bonus for every teacher in Arkansas. A companion bill has also been filed to raise school staff pay to $15 an hour.
“We give $72,000 a year to the school district per teacher but the superintendents and the school boards just don’t spend it on teacher pay,” Senate Majority Leader Bart Hester said. “We’re doing our part it’s just getting spent differently on a local level… that’s why they’re filing a bill trying to force superintendents and school boards to actually pay teachers what we send to teachers.”
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