Lawmakers Debate Raising Teacher Salaries as Part of Budget
OLYMPIA, Wash. (AP) — While lawmakers continue to grapple over finalizing a supplemental budget during an overtime special session, one point of disagreement is whether the Legislature should combat a shortage of teachers that appears to be most severe in math, science and special education by raising the state's portion of the lowest beginning salary for teachers.
Leadership in the Democratic-controlled House has argued providing higher pay for teachers this year is necessary to attract more candidates to the profession, and retain new teachers. Prominent lawmakers in the Republican-led Senate have said hiking salaries this session is not the best approach to entice more teachers in areas of need.
The Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction reports many principals are struggling to fill teaching openings.