School employees join Assemblymember Al Muratsuchi on April 26 as he introduces AB 938.

SACRAMENTO — Assemblymember Al Muratsuchi (D-Torrance), chair of the Assembly Education Committee, introduced Assembly Bill 938, a measure that would establish state funding targets to raise teacher and school employee salaries by 50% by 2030.

This measure seeks to close the existing wage gap between teachers and similarly educated college graduates in other fields. It is supported by the California Federation of Teachers (CFT), California Teachers Association (CTA), and California School Employees Association (CSEA), among others. It was set for a hearing in the Assembly Education Committee on April 26.

AB 938 would create state Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF) funding targets over a seven-year period, with the specific intent of increasing school-site staff salaries by 50% by 2030. The bill would establish targets for the state LCFF base grant to be increased by 50% by fiscal year 2030-31, while requiring school districts to report their progress in meeting the 50% increase in salaries over a seven-year period.

“We need to pay our teachers and essential school staff what they deserve,” said Muratsuchi. “Schools across the state are facing a workforce shortage, with many teachers and school employees unable to afford to live in the communities they work in.  Moreover, there is a growing wage gap between teachers and comparable college graduates in other fields. That is why I introduced AB 938, to set the goal of giving teachers and staff a 50% pay raise by 2030, to not only pay them what they deserve, but also to get more young people to aspire to become educators.”

“As California faces an unprecedented staffing crisis in our public schools, we need real solutions to keep educators and classified professionals in our schools and attract new and diverse talent to the field,” said CFT President Jeff Freitas. “The 50% salary increase proposed in AB 938 represents an investment in our schools, students, communities, and ultimately the future of our state. We are grateful to Assemblymember Muratsuchi, as chair of the Assembly Education Committee and the author of this bill, for his work to support educators and classified professionals and retain their talent long term.”

“The teacher and staff shortage crisis has a direct impact on student achievement,” said CTA President E. Toby Boyd. “Across the state, school districts continue to struggle to recruit and retain teachers in large part because they are not fairly compensated for the work, time, effort and emotional commitment they give their students each and every day. We commend the members of the committee for their support today,”

Research shows that the overwhelming reason college students are not becoming teachers is due to the profession’s low salaries compared to similarly educated professionals in other fields. Nearly two-thirds (63%) of those not interested in teaching cited pay as one of the top three reasons they were not interested in teaching. Further, research indicates that teachers earn 23.5% less than comparable college graduates. This percentage represents the wage gap between teachers and similarly educated peers.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *