SACRAMENTO, Calif. — There’s a bill with bipartisan support to increase teacher pay by 50% by 2030.
The author of the bill, California Assemblymember Al Muratsuchi, says teachers are paid significantly less than college graduates in other fields. It’s getting more difficult to convince people to enter into teaching if they can’t afford to live on it.
“I have no savings, rent takes up nearly my entire paycheck," Special Education Teacher in San Francisco Elena Royale said, "and up until three years ago, I lived with my parents”
Royale says the school she works for can’t find people to hire.
“Our school has found it almost impossible to recruit teachers and paraprofessionals," Royale said. "In fact, it has gotten so bad that we have two paraprofessionals teaching class this year even though they don't have credentials.”
Teachers from across the state lined up to show support for AB 938 in its most recent committee hearing.
“If we want world class schools, we need to pay teachers and essential school staff what they deserve," Education Committee Chairman Assemblymember Al Muratsuchi said.
The bill would raise salaries for teachers and school staff by 50% by 2030.
“As a former school board member, this is I still hear from my districts all the time,” Assemblymember Joshua Hoover (R- Folsom) said.
Hoover says education has to be a top priority.
“I know we're going to have a lot of budget discussions this year on what our priorities should be as a state, particularly given the budget position that we're currently in," Hoover said, "but I think education has to be our top priority because our students really are the most important.”
The state is facing a projected $22.5 billion deficit. So even if this does have strong bipartisan support, there are going to have to be some tough decisions made in the capitol.
The bill passed out of the Education Committee and is headed to the appropriations committee next. That committee’s job is to review all bills that have a fiscal impact.
WATCH RELATED: Teachers union holding rallies across San Diego Unified schools on Thursday (April 2023).