LITTLE ROCK, Ark.- Governor Asa Hutchinson signed two bills Monday afternoon that will raise the median salary for teachers by $2,000.
The median teacher salary will be increased from $49,822 to $51,822.
The governor said in the past, the minimum salaries have been increased.
Hutchinson said the raising of the median salary is an effort to have competitive teacher salaries.
Arkansas Senate Bill 504 and House Bill 1614 will create the Teacher Salary Equalization Fund.
In March, Hutchinson said a measure to increase teacher salaries was a priority and the bill would raise the salary in school districts that are currently below the median salary for teachers. The governor said he feels there are two different education systems in the state: one that is more prosperous districts that recruit teachers and pay more, and other districts that are less prosperous and have been paying salaries below the median average.
Jim Tucker, Superintendent of El Dorado School District, said the school board will vote on raises for teachers tonight.
Ashlee Curtis, a teacher and coach at El Dorado High School, said, “This is an awesome and amazing thing for all teachers in our state.”
Curtis added this will help schools in the state get and keep great educators.
Education Secretary Johnny Key says he thinks this is a topic that unites all Arkansans.
Hutchinson noted other education bills that are now laws include an increase of school transportation funding, requiring school resource officers to complete specialized training, allowing DACA recipients to receive teaching licenses, adding computer science as a requirement for graduation, and requiring Holocaust education in schools.
You can watch the full news conference in the video player above.