Rep. Frederica Wilson proposed legislation on Wednesday to increase the federal minimum wage for teachers in public schools.
The proposed bill, called the American Teacher Act, would establish a federal minimum salary of $60,000 for all public school teachers. The bill has a co-sponsor in Rep. Jamaal Bowman who also happens to be a former educator himself.
The goal of the initiative is to stop the mass exodus of teachers from leaving the profession as well as raise the profile of teachers as a whole.
“Teachers deserve a raise. Our nation’s teachers have been underpaid, overworked, and deprived of resources for too long. That’s why I’m filing the American Teacher Act today, to give our nation’s teachers the raise they have earned and deserve,” said Congresswoman Wilson. “Teachers are the backbone of our education system and economy, playing a foundational role in the development of our children. For seven hours a day, they help shape and inspire young minds as well as nurture students academically and socially.”
Teacher salaries have been under a microscope as compensation is consistently cited as one of the primary drawbacks of entering the profession.
The bill has support from several prominent teacher organizations including The Teacher Salary Project, American Federation of Teachers, The National Education Association, The Education Trust, Teach for America, The New Teacher Project, and more.
Read the full bill here.