Some Illinois educators are concerned a provision in the new state budget will make Illinois’ teacher shortage even worse.
Lawmakers added a last-minute provision to the bill which caps end-of-career raises for teachers at 3%.
The raises are an added perk for teachers to earn extra money for their pensions when nearing retirement. Now, school districts that want to offer anything over 3% will have to pick up the extra cost.
Lawmakers say it will save money, but educators believe it will discourage new teachers from joining the workforce.
“Everything we do that works counter to the education profession is, in some way, detrimental to the profession,” said Jim Reed of the Illinois Educators Association. “Again, this is the reason you don’t roll out something of this magnitude just a day before the last day [of the General Assembly].”
Rep. Tim Butler (R-87th District) said, “I don’t think the pension provisions at the end are really going to get in the way of hiring those people, so I don’t see where it’s a big issue.”
The State says the cap on raises will save $22 million.