SPRINGFIELD, IL — Gov. Bruce Rauner vetoed legislation Sunday that would have increased the minimum salary for full-time teachers at Illinois public schools to $40,000 over the next five years. The General Assembly approved the bill in May. It would have increased the minimum pay rate for teachers next year to $32,000.
Teachers deserve to be well-compensated, Rauner said in a message accompanying the veto, but legislating minimum pay rates is not efficient or effective. He said the bill would have imposed a “significant unfunded mandate on school districts,” which he encouraged to adopt their own compensation structures that are best suited to meet local needs.
“There are many innovative teacher compensation strategies that, if adopted and implemented at the school district level, would preserve local control and protect districts from the burden of even more unfunded mandates,” Rauner said. “Things like pay-for-performance, diversified pay for teachers in hard-to-staff schools or subjects, or pay incentives for teachers with prior work experience are all viable options to provide greater compensation for teachers.”
Senate Bill 2892 passed the Illinois Senate passed with a vote of 37-16, enough to override Rauner’s veto. The House voted 65-47 in favor of the bill, six votes short of the 71 needed for an override.
The bill’s sponsor, Sen. Andy Manar (D-Bunker Hill) said he and “thousands of dedicated, hard-working, creative educators throughout the state” were “disappointed” by the veto, according to the Chicago Tribune.