Little Rock School District officials voted to raise starting teacher salaries. The salary for new teachers will now start at $45,500, up $2,500 from last year and a significant increase from the $36,000 starting salary of two years ago.
After this starting salary, which is now among the highest in the state, educators are eligible for a 2% “step increase” for each year of experience that they have as a teacher.
The district’s announcement comes as more school districts around the state have chosen to raise teacher pay. In July, teachers had rallied at the Arkansas State Capitol to pressure lawmakers to put teacher pay on the roster for August’s special session.
Gov. Asa Hutchinson declined to include teacher salaries in that August session, despite urging from Arkansas House and Senate Democrats to include proposed legislation that would have used surplus funds to raise the minimum teacher salary from $36,000 to $42,000.
Little Rock now joins other school districts that have raised annual salaries despite the state’s refusal to do so. Fort Smith, Springdale and Fayetteville all boosted salaries to $50,000 to combat teacher shortages, while Russellville boosted pay to $45,000.