Wirepoints: 'There's a way' teachers can earn more 'without hitting taxpayers again and again'
Wirepoints' Ted Dabrowski sees House Bill 2018 as just another assault on property owners across Illinois.
“It’s another forced mandate that might make it more expensive to live here,” Dabrowski, president of the government watchdog website, told Metro East Sun. “I think the real problem is that it’s going to force a lot of smaller cities already struggling to keep their people and to keep their economies viable to have to make even tougher decisions.”
Sponsored by Rep. Katie Stuart (D-Collinsville), HB 2018, which passed the House by better than a 2 to 1 margin, establishes a minimum salary of $40,000 for teachers across the state. The increases would be phased in over a five-year period and comes at a time, supporters claim, when the state is short of qualified educators. The bill was first passed last year, but was ultimately vetoed by then Gov. Bruce Rauner.
Dabrowski argues the state would be better served if such legislation remained buried.
“Again, Springfield and the people that run everything are forcing people to have to pay more and more and taking away power from local governments to control their own cost,” he said. “This is just a big push by unions that don’t want any kinds of reforms to educational spending. Illinois already spends more per student than any other state in the midwest.”
A former teacher, Stuart maintains her motivations for reviving such legislation stem from her wanting to address the growing teacher shortage and to make educators feel valued. Dabrowski said he can appreciate that, he just wants to see leaders do more with what they already have.
“There’s billions of dollars not making it to classrooms or to teachers because all of it is going to the bureaucracy of districts, administrators and sky-high pensions,” he said. “There’s a way more of this money can make it to teachers without hitting taxpayers again and again.”