HomeArkansas newsArkansas leads the nation in starting salaries for teachers, LEARNS Act cited...

Arkansas leads the nation in starting salaries for teachers, LEARNS Act cited as key factor

Arkansas – Arkansas has reportedly achieved the highest starting teacher pay in the United States when adjusted for the cost of living. This significant financial boost stems from the implementation of the LEARNS Act, spearheaded by Governor Sarah Huckabee Sanders.

An Increase in Teacher Salaries

Governor Sanders signed the LEARNS Act into law last year, which not only increased the starting salary for teachers from $36,000 to $50,000 but also ensured a minimum raise of $2,000 for all teachers. This adjustment marks a substantial shift from Arkansas’s previous position at 48th in the nation for starting teacher pay. Prior to the enactment of the LEARNS Act, it was uncommon for educators in many districts of the state to earn over $50,000 annually.

“Great education starts with great teachers,” stated Governor Sanders. She expressed pride in how the LEARNS Act propelled Arkansas from near the bottom to the forefront of the nation in terms of starting teacher pay, thereby enhancing the state’s ability to attract and retain top educators. “LEARNS was the largest investment in our public schools ever and, as this report shows, is already tackling our teacher shortage and making Arkansas a national education leader,” she added.

Impact on Education and Teacher Recruitment

According to Arkansas Department of Education Secretary Jacob Oliva, the quality of education is heavily dependent on the caliber of the teachers. “Research shows that the number one indicator of student success is the teacher in the classroom,” Oliva noted. The substantial investment represented by the LEARNS Act is seen as a pivotal factor in not only improving starting salaries but also in ensuring that classrooms are led by high-quality educators. This initiative is expected to enhance student learning outcomes and expand the teacher pipeline.

Check also: Arkansas Governor Sarah Huckabee Sanders named “Governor of the Year”

Additional Benefits from the LEARNS Act

The TNTP’s Moving Up report also highlighted various other facets of the LEARNS Act that contribute to its goal of boosting teacher retention and recruitment in Arkansas. Among these are student loan repayment options for educators in areas with teacher shortages, scholarships for aspiring teachers, and the Merit Teacher Incentive Fund, which offers up to $10,000 in bonuses for high-performing teachers.

Furthermore, the Act addresses work-life balance and support for teachers by providing up to 12 weeks of paid maternity leave, making Arkansas one of only four states in the nation to offer such a benefit. This is particularly significant given that more than 70% of Arkansas teachers are women.

The full details and analysis of these changes are available in the TNTP report, which examines the broader implications of the LEARNS Act on Arkansas’s educational landscape.

Ava Thompson



Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Advertisement spot_img
Advertisement spot_img
Advertisement spot_img

Most Popular