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 statewide. All public school teachers in grades K-12 and support staff such as cafeteria workers, bus drivers and more will get a 2% bump in pay. This goes into effect in the fall.
“If anything this year has been one to prove that teachers definitely need that increase in pay,” Madison County Schools Endeavor Elementary teacher Christina Turner said.
But that’s not all there is to celebrate.
The legislature also put $30 million toward increasing the teacher pay step scale, so once approved by Ivey, every three years teachers will get at least a two percent increase in pay as well.
“Alabama is one of the lowest teacher paid states right now, so I think it 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 with the district 23 years, so the new pay scale means she’ll be making over $2,000 more a year than she is now. That’s on top of the 2 percent pay bump that will go into effect in the fall of 2021.
“It’s long overdue. I definitely think this is a step in the right direction,” she said.
Senator Arthur Orr, a cosponsor of the bill agrees.
“It’s certainly a good day for educators to get a significant pay raise, but more importantly we need to continue moving educator pay, teachers in particular because you attract quality with reasonable and good compensation,” Orr said.
And Turner says the pay bump will help attract future educators, like her daughter to pursue the career.
“It just takes a lot of time and you have to be really passionate about what you’re doing as a teacher because if you’re not, it’s not worth it. We need good teachers like my mom,” Grace Turner said.
Governor Ivey’s signature is still needed on the education trust fund budget, which also puts $100 million toward increasing the pay scale for math and science teachers. We will let you know when that is signed.