A bill to pay Maine teachers a $40,000 minimum wage has made it out of committee despite unanimous Republican opposition.
“A bill that would increase minimum teacher pay in Maine to $40,000 passed out of the Legislature’s Education and Cultural Affairs Committee on a 6-4 party line vote Wednesday.
Democrats backed the bill, sponsored by committee chairwoman Sen. Rebecca Millett, D-Cape Elizabeth, that would raise the minimum pay for starting teachers, taper state funding to districts over several years, increase mentoring for early-career teachers and increase the amount of state student loan aid available to students training to be teachers.
Millett removed a section on teacher training after announcing that similar legislation was being pursued at the federal level.
The four Republican members present voted against Millett’s bill, saying they backed an amendment by Republican Sen. Matt Pouliot that would have included a $40,000 base salary as part of a statewide teachers contract . . .
Increasing teachers’ starting pay was a signature campaign promise by Gov. Janet Mills, who put $10 million in her first budget proposal to help districts pay for it.
Two other bills before the committee that also would have raised the minimum teacher salary were unanimously defeated.”
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