AUGUSTA – Some lawmakers want to raise the base minimum salary for teachers.
They say it’s a way to recognize teachers for the vital impact they have on our community, while also taking a step to increase the quality of education.
“Right now currently I believe Maine is in the bottom half of the average teacher salary I think to remain competitive with our education system, includes taking good care of our teachers so they can stay here in Maine and if we don’t pay them adequately so they can pay their college loans and have a family and stay in Maine, we’re going to fall further behind,” Representative Benjamin Collings (D – Portland) said.
Another legislator says the system currently in place is counterproductive for teachers.
“These are professional people, they have professional degrees. You are required by your school system to continue your education, so many teachers have several degrees, and yet they are paid really poorly,” said Representative Victoria Kornfield (D – Bangor).
This proposal would raise the minimum base salary to more than $40,000.
According to TeachingDegree.org, the base teaching salary is currently $30,000 in Maine.
The annual mean wage for Maine teachers is $48,540, about $6,000 less than the national average.
Lawmakers hope that increasing the base salary of teachers will also increase the annual mean salary, helping Maine teachers’ salaries catch up to the rest of the country.
Supporters of the bill say this the first to step to properly compensate teachers for all the work they do.