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Senate Board of Education chairman states that teacher salaries need to wait for proper research

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Senator Missy Irvin of R-Mountain View said it is important to follow the aptitude survey process to raise teacher salaries in Arkansas.

Mr Irvin, chairman of the Senate Board of Education, said there were legal concerns if Arkansaw lawmakers deviated from the official Lakeview case in 2004.

“… Legally, my concern seems to be that if you start choosing one category outside of its validity process, it’s actually following what the court wanted us to do. It’s a big concern from a legal point of view, because you’re in the middle of research, you’re in the middle of the process, and you chose one category of spending, and you’re all you need for a public school Overall, I didn’t consider spending and funding, that’s exactly what the Lakeview case really was, “she said.

“Our budgeting and revenue stabilization process is a thoughtful, prioritized spending decision process and a planning mechanism for upcoming general meetings, so we move out of it or throw something in the middle. That can confuse others, “state government needs,” Irvine added.

Last week, the state legislature demanded nearly $ 500 million from the US Rescue Program and provided teachers and school staff with a temporary bonus of $ 2,500 to $ 5,000. They argue that federal law allows spending money in a variety of ways for recruitment and maintenance.

A December 16, 2021 memo from the U.S. Department of Education includes a one-time bonus for teachers and staff, compensation for staff shortages in key areas, recruitment of alternative educators and recruitment of retirees. It outlines how ARP funds were used. Return to the workforce with COVID-19. The State Department of Education memo provided guidance to local school districts warning that federal funds should not be used for non-COVID-related costs.

Many teacher wage advocates argue that waiting for aptitude studies to complete and setting up teacher salary increases in the next regular session will delay those hikes in the next school year. I am. Meanwhile, in the surrounding states, teachers’ minimum salaries exceed $ 36,000 in Arkansas.

Irvine said he was not concerned that timing would affect teacher recruitment and retention, arguing that other factors could be more important to stabilize the teacher’s workforce.

“We don’t think we’re in crisis,” Irvine said. “I believe. In fact, I was talking to one of my Senate democratic colleagues. She was absolutely right when she spoke. Teachers don’t move to a particular area There are other reasons as well. Economic development and opportunities in those areas. “

“This is not something that only the school board can solve. This is something that the whole parliament really has to dig into and understand, and we have really grown the rural economy and are now in a very difficult area. We have to do a better job to grow, “she added.

You can see a full interview with Senator Irvine in the video below.