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MO Board of Education Says It Needs $400 Million to Boost Teacher Pay

Teacher pay in Missouri ranks among the lowest in the country. (Adobe Stock)
Teacher pay in Missouri ranks among the lowest in the country. (Adobe Stock)
December 19, 2019

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. -- Under a new plan proposed by the state Board of Education, Missouri teachers would see their base pay increase from $25,000 to $32,000.

Bruce Moe, executive director of the Missouri State Teachers Association, says the educators he represents, especially those working in rural districts, welcome the proposed changes.

"If the full proposal was implemented, it would affect every teacher in Missouri," he states.

The nearly $400 million proposal also would create a fund to help fill math and science positions, which often are more difficult to recruit for with a limited budget.

According to the National Education Association, Missouri currently ranks among the lowest in the country for teacher pay.

Moe stresses this effort is just the beginning. He says the state has a lot of work to do to ensure that its public schools are well staffed for the next generation.

"I think this proposal does make sense," he states. "It just catches Missouri up to states that are around us, frankly."

Moe says the state already has seen a decline in college enrollment, and he maintains that problem will accelerate if students don't have access to high quality teachers.

"If we don't change pay for teachers in Missouri, we will not be able to get qualified teachers in our classrooms," he states.

A state survey published earlier this year found that most teachers in the state cited lack of compensation as their main reason for leaving the profession.

Nadia Ramlagan, Public News Service - MO