(KTLA) — In an effort to address the teacher workforce shortage, a new California bill seeks to raise teachers’ pay by 50% over the next seven years.
California Assemblymember Al Muratsuchi, a Democrat from Torrance who introduced the bill, hopes it will attract younger people to teaching jobs while helping current teachers afford to live in the communities they work in.
The bill, formally known as AB 938, would set yearly targets for California’s Local Control Funding Formula, which determines how much money is allocated to districts and charter schools, to reach a 50% increase by 2030, according to the bill’s text.
The bill doesn’t require school districts to spend additional state funding on increasing salaries but strongly suggests that’s what the money should go toward.
Muratsuchi, who is also the chairman of the Assembly Education Committee, unveiled his plan for the bill during a press conference Wednesday. Muratsuchi hopes the legislation will close the growing wage gap between teachers and their college-educated peers working in other fields.
“Two-thirds of young adults recently surveyed cite pay as one of the top three reasons of why they are not interested in going into the teaching profession,” Muratsuchi said during the press conference. “We need to close this wage gap.”
Los Angeles Unified School District, the second largest school district nationwide, is on track to meet the bill’s requirements, should it pass.
District officials unveiled a tentative deal with the union representing approximately 35,000 educators in LAUSD earlier this month.
The deal includes a 21% salary increase for all United Teachers Los Angeles members, reductions in class sizes and “increasing mental health and counseling services in order to support the needs of students better,” LAUSD said in a news release.