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Missouri state budget to benefit education, improve teacher pay

Published: May. 11, 2022 at 6:37 PM CDT
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HANNIBAL, Mo. (WGEM) - Missouri ranks last out of all 50 states for teacher’s salaries, and the state of Missouri wants to improve the quality of education through a $10 billion budget.

The state will raise the baseline teacher salary from $25,000 to $38,000 through a matching grant program. Schools will provide 30% of salary costs, while the state will provide 70%.

Hannibal High School Instructional Coach Amy Rendel thinks the increase will attract more people to the profession, as graduates are struggling to pay back their student loans on a low salary.

“They can’t pay their student loans back at that pay, and so college is a lot more expensive than it used to be, so definitely, we are going to have to increase teacher pay,” Rendel said.

The state will also pay 75% of transportation costs, which Hannibal School District Superintendent Susan Johnson said will greatly benefit them.

“It costs about $2 million a year to be able to transport, by the time you figure out our staff, our buses, our gasoline, upkeep, everything that goes into running transportation. And we have been getting about 15 percent of that. So quick math, about $250,000,” Johnson said.

Johnson said now they will be able to use more of their own budget on the students.

“Those funds that we are not having to use on transportation like we have, we can use that to go back directly to our students,” Johnson said.

$37 million will also go into the career ladder program which pays teachers additional money to participate in professional advancement and educational activities.

Johnson said the increased salary impacts other Missouri schools more than Hannibal as they already pay teachers just below $38,000.

The budget bill is now heading to Gov. Mike Parson’s desk for signature.

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