The State Board of Education discussed legislative priorities for the next session. Increases to teachers' salaries dominated the conversation in Tuesday's meeting.
The Department of Elementary and Secondary Education held a "Missouri Teacher Table" to establish a teacher salary proposal. They reported the results Tuesday.
The proposal would increase the salary of all Missouri teachers by $4,000. Additionally, it would increase the minimum teacher salary requirement from $25,000 to $32,000.
Missouri has not changed its minimum requirement since 2005, 14 years ago. Its current minimum is lower than each of the six border states' minimum requirements.
Even though the proposal includes a $7,000 increase to the minimum salary requirements, the majority of the state board members expressed that this was not enough. Michael W. Jones, a school board member, likened it to poorly running a business.
"$32,000 is not going to get it done," Jones said.
The proposal also creates an innovation and equity fund. These monies would be used to recruit teachers to work in the less-desirable locations and in the often passed-over subjects such as foreign language.
Representative Chuck Basye, R-Rocheport, said he anticipates legislation concerning teacher salaries in the next session.
"It’s a very important piece of the equation," Basye said. "We should try to pay teachers and folks that have much to do with our young people as much as possible. "
If implemented, the proposal would cost $322,860,815. It would also increase the average teacher's salary by nearly 10% to $54,126.
The board is planning to review the proposals before formulating a position. They are expected to set DESE priorities before the legislative session begins on Jan. 8, 2020.