New laws in Iowa and South Dakota are setting a new floor for what teachers in those two states must be paid.

With the enactment of SB 127, South Dakota joins the group of states that sets in statute a minimum salary for starting teachers. The initial threshold is $45,000 for fiscal year 2025 and will be adjusted annually based on a “target teacher salary” that also is set in statute. South Dakota school districts must begin paying the minimum starting teacher salary with the 2026-’27 school year.Map of Midwestern states showing average starting teacher salaries, with the states' U.S. ranking (in parentheses) for the 2022-23 school year.

Iowa already required that a minimum salary be paid to teachers, but this year’s HF 2612 raises the amount from $33,500 to $47,500 in fiscal year 2025 and $50,000 in FY 2026. Additionally, teachers with at least 12 years of experience will be guaranteed a salary of $62,000 or more in FY 2026.

At least three other Midwestern states also set statutory minimum salaries:

  • The minimum in Illinois is $40,000, with automatic inflationary adjustments scheduled for future school years. This year’s SB 2627 would raise the minimum salary for teachers to $50,000 in 2024-’25 and $60,000 in 2026-’27. That bill also would require the state’s Commission on Government Forecasting and Accountability to determine a minimum teacher salary for the 2027-’28 school year.
  • In Ohio, the minimum salary for a teacher with a bachelor’s degree is $35,000. It would be raised to $50,000 under HB 411.
  • The threshold in Indiana is $40,000; school districts paying under this amount must provide an explanation to state officials for why this threshold cannot be met. HB 1037 would have raised the minimum salary to $60,000; it did not pass.

Wisconsin’s AB 517/SB 511, which did not pass, called for a statewide minimum salary for teachers that could not be “less than the annual salary paid to a state legislator.” Also under the bill, after 20 years of service, a teacher would make at least $100,000 a year.

The post Iowa, South Dakota legislators establish new minimum salaries for teachers appeared first on CSG Midwest.

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