Educator Pay Raise Fund
The bill creates the educator pay raise program (program) to provide funding to school districts and charter schools to assist them in increasing their minimum teacher salaries to the district required minimum teacher salary amount specified in the bill and the minimum hourly wage paid to other employees to the district required minimum hourly wage amount specified in the bill. A school district or charter school that seeks to participate in the program must submit an application to the department of education (department) that meets the requirements specified in the bill. A school district or charter school may choose to participate to increase minimum teacher salaries or the minimum hourly wage, or both. The department shall review the applications and recommend to the state board of education (state board) those applicants that should be selected to participate in the program. In selecting program participants, the department and the state board must prioritize those applicants that demonstrate the greatest financial need. The bill specifies criteria to apply in determining the prioritization. As a condition of participating in the program, each participant seeking to increase teacher salaries must increase its minimum teacher salary to the district required minimum teacher salary amount and each participant seeking to increase the hourly wage must increase its minimum hourly wage to the district required minimum hourly wage amount. In the first year in which a school district or charter school participates, the amount required for the increases is paid through the program. In the second and subsequent years of participation, each program participant is required to contribute an increasing amount of matching money while the amount that the program participant receives is decreased over time. The department determines the amount of matching money and the amount that a program participant receives based on schedules for increasing teacher salaries and schedules for increasing the hourly wage adopted by rule of the state board. A program participant may continue participating in the program so long as the participant meets the matching money requirement and continues to qualify for the program. A program participant no longer qualifies for the program when the department determines that the participant has sufficient resources to pay the district required minimum teacher salary amount or the district required minimum hourly wage amount or both, as applicable, without assistance.
The bill creates the educator pay raise fund (fund), which consists of the greater of 10% or $15 million of the gross income annually earned on the public school lands and any other money that the general assembly may appropriate or transfer to the fund.
Beginning in the 2022 regular legislative session, the department shall include in its annual report to the joint education committee information concerning implementation of the program.
(Note: This summary applies to this bill as introduced.)