Arkansas Teachers Salary Continues to be an Ongoing Battle


Leo Thompson, Editor

In the beginning of the 2022-2023 school year, many schools across Arkansas and the country alike were facing the major problem of the national teacher shortage. Recently Arkansas Democrats proposed an idea that could hopefully solve this problem going forward.  The proposal was  called  the Raise Act, and it would give all Arkansas teachers a pay raise of 10,000 dollars to their yearly salary. This is all in an effort to fix not only the problem with a lack of new employees entering the profession, but also the problem of teacher retention. Republican Governor Sarah Huckabee Sanders announced on February 8, 2023 a plan that would set the Arkansas minimum teacher salary at $50,000, a raise of $14,000 over the current minimum. This would make Arkansas the fifth highest paying state for teachers in the U.S. which is a major improvement over the current ranking of 48th. It is clear that while both parties agree that raising teacher pay is necessary, there are disagreements on the best way to go about how the final pay salaries should look. 

The teachers of BIC have been paying close attention to the discussions surrounding their future salaries. BIC EAST teacher, Mrs. Jill Sanders reflected on the possibility of raises, saying, “As a public school teacher, of course, I am excited about the potential raise for Arkansas teachers.  Every single teacher that I know is teaching because they want to make a difference and they are committed to students. We didn’t go into education for the money.” She agreed that the raise would help with the shortage problem saying, ”A raise for teachers would help with the severe shortage of teachers in Arkansas. When teacher pay is a problem, fewer people want to become teachers.”

Chemistry teacher, Mrs. Sally Cates, also thinks that teacher pay is lacking saying “It is often hard to live on the salaries that teachers earn.”  She  also added, ”I think we should be paid a salary that is befitting our degrees and years of experience.” Many additional educators at BIC echoed Cates’ sentiments, in the hopes that an increase in teacher’s salaries can improve not only the quality of life for teachers, but also education as a whole.