January 8, 2021
Today, Montana Superintendent of Public Instruction Elsie Arntzen issued the following statement regarding HB143, introduced by Rep. Llew Jones, a key component of Governor Gianforte’s Montana Comeback Plan.
The TEACH (Tomorrow’s Educators Coming Home) Act provides $2.5 million annually for wage increases for teachers in their first three years in the classroom beginning in 2023. This is 100% funded by the state general fund and not local taxpayers. Nearly 90% of local school budgets reflect teacher salaries and benefits. Montana currently has 12,581 licensed teachers, and it is estimated that 690 teachers would benefit from this starting teacher pay increase. This act enables Montana to compete for world-class teachers, while retaining local school board control.
“I celebrate the introduction of the TEACH ACT. Recruitment and retention of quality classroom teachers has been and remains a priority. As a 23 year public school teacher, I applaud these innovative efforts to fulfill the promise to Montana students. I look forward to working with Governor Gianforte and the legislature to quickly pass this critical legislation into law.”