HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WAFF) – If you haven’t thanked a teacher yet, you still have time. It’s Teacher Appreciation Week!
On Tuesday, Governor Ivey showed her support for educators by approving a pay raise for all teachers in the state. All K-12 public school teachers and support staff like cafeteria workers, bus drivers and others will receive a 2% pay raise. This comes into effect in the fall.
“If anything this year has proven that teachers definitely need that pay raise,” said Madison County Schools Endeavor Elementary teacher Christina Turner.
But that’s not all there is to celebrate.
The Legislature also invested $30 million in increasing the pay scale for teachers. Thus, once approved by Ivey, every three years, teachers will also receive a salary increase of at least 2%.
“Alabama is one of the lowest-paid states for teachers right now, so I think that would encourage a lot of teachers to stay in education,” Turner said.
Christina Turner is a second-grade teacher at Endeavor Elementary in Madison County.
She’s been in the district for 23 years, so the new pay scale means she’ll earn more than $2,000 more a year than she does now. This is in addition to the 2% salary increase that will take effect in the fall of 2021.
“It is long overdue. I really think it’s a step in the right direction,” she said.
Senator Arthur Orr, co-sponsor of the bill, agrees.
“It’s certainly a good day for educators to get a meaningful pay raise, but more importantly, we need to keep moving the pay of educators, especially teachers, because you attract quality with reasonable pay and good,” Orr said.
And Turner says the pay hike will help attract future educators, like her daughter, to pursue their careers.
“It just takes a lot of time and you have to be really passionate about what you do as a teacher because if you’re not, it’s not worth it. We need good teachers like my mother,” said Grace Turner.
Governor Ivey’s signature is still needed on the budget for the Education Trust Fund, which also devotes $100 million to increasing the pay scale for math and science teachers. We will let you know as soon as it is signed.
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