COLUMBIA, Mo. (KMIZ)
Monday is the last day for educators in Missouri to apply for a grant that would increase teacher pay at least $13,000 for the 2023-2024 school year.
State law requires that teachers are paid a minimum of $25,000.
However, last year legislators approved the salary grant program to help pay teachers at least $38,000.
The grant allows for any public school district or charter school that has a base salary for teachers that is between $25,000 and $38,000 to apply. The program is optional however, and districts are not required to apply.
The Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education released guidelines back in March for schools looking to apply. Under the grant, the state will provide up to 70% of the funds needed to reach the base salary of $38,000, while local sources will provide the remaining 30%.
As part of the guidelines, funds cannot be used toward extra-pay, salary-related benefits, or any other non-regular teaching duties.
This comes after DESE reported that more than half of teachers in Missouri leave teaching by their fifth year, prompting legislators and DESE to seek for a boost in pay.
More than 300 schools applied for the grant program in 2022, including Frederick town who received the most amount among other school districts, receiving $190,361 to pay 55 teachers the base pay.
Other local schools that received money include:
- Boonville - $98,508 for 34 teachers
- North Callaway Co. - $156,102 for 54 teachers
- Fulton 58 - $82,200 for 61 teachers
- Southern Boone Co. - $52,502 for 39 teachers.
The program is only eligible for one year.