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House of Representatives
Session of 2021 - 2022 Regular Session


Posted: April 19, 2021 12:08 PM
From: Representative Mark Longietti
To: All House members
Subject: Minimum Salary for Education Professionals- 45k
In the near future I plan to introduce legislation that would increase the minimum salary for educators in the Public-School Code from $18,500 to $45,000.
The last time the minimum salary for educators was increased was in 1989. Since then, teaching has become much more challenging.  Teachers face increased continuing education requirements, more students with complex needs, and the daunting task of keeping students safe in the classroom.
The commonwealth is behind schedule for a necessary adjustment to keep pace with inflation – especially for some communities that do not have the local tax base to attract and retain educators.  The Governor’s Budget Office estimates there are 137 schools that have at least one teacher not earning $45K.
This much-needed step at recognizing the importance of the crucial role our professional educators across the commonwealth provide in the successful education of our youth was supported by the Governor last session and again this session.
Educators play a critical role in their students’ lives and should not have to scrape by to make ends meet.  Right now, thousands of hardworking educators are taking on second and third jobs and still do not earn enough to raise a small family. Raising the minimum educator salary will help those educators and encourage even more talented young people to enter this profession and stick with it.
Further, this proposal demonstrates respect for professional educators by providing them with a wage that is more in line with what similarly educated professionals earn. In 2017, the statewide median salary of Pennsylvanians with bachelor’s degrees was $47,470.

There is nothing in the bill that would require current contracts to be modified, only that the educators earning under $45K be paid $45K.  The 137 schools identified as having educators paid less than $45K have a unique opportunity to support their educators using funds from the American Rescue plan to supplement the costs.   
Finally, given the limited scope of this proposal it is my intention to solve the specific and narrow problem of teacher retention in certain locations. Much like when the minimum salary was increased 30 years ago, I do not anticipate this increase will have a broader impact on educator salaries above $45,000.

Please consider cosponsoring this very important legislation. Thank you for your consideration.

Introduced as HB1463