Teacher salary and steps in Kaneland.

Kaneland teachers rally Monday evening in Sugar Grove calling for a contract. The current contract between the teachers and Kaneland School District ends June 30. (Linda Girardi / The Beacon-News)

About 125 teachers who work for the Kaneland School District, wearing red shirts and carrying placards, held a rally earlier this week in advance of their school board meeting.

Kaneland is near Sugar Grove in Kane County, west of Chicago.

The current contract expires this weekend.

Currently, new teachers in Kaneland starting salary is around $40,000 a year.

If the $40,000 number sounds familiar, it is because the Illinois legislature voted in the recent session to make $40,000 the minimum salary for teachers in Illinois.

To be enacted in four years.

$40,000 is what Kaneland’s beginning teachers get now.

The $40,000 minimum was Senator Andy Manar’s idea for addressing the teacher shortage crisis. The rest of the Democratic Party controlled state General Assembly agreed with him.

This was not a bold move. Even in rural Kane County $40,000 is barely a livable wage.

Bernie says we should make the minimum pay for teacher $60,000.

Maybe some Illinois Democrats think a livable wage for teachers is socialism and so are against it.

Another thing.

The union says a sticking point is that the Kaneland board wants to do away with the existing salary schedule.

Targeting step-based salary schedules seems to be a coordinated effort on the part of Illinois school boards in current bargaining.

They got the memo.

Simply put, a step-based salary schedule is one in which teachers’ base pay increases each year.

The schedule also includes additional compensation for earned degrees, training and professional development.

As a result, the only compensation that needs to be bargained is additional cost of living increases and changes to benefits.

Why does this work for teachers and school districts?

In the private sector, an employee with similar experience and education can increase their earnings as a result of promotion and job title.

This is not true in teaching unless the teacher leaves the classroom to become an administrator.

That was never my ambition.

Encouraging teachers to leave the classroom is not a good idea when schools are facing a teacher shortage.

Some ask why a teacher should be paid more just based on experience and educational degrees.

That is because in teaching, like many things, experience counts.

For most of us who go into teaching it takes a while to know what the questions are.

Forget about knowing the answers right away.

In spite of what fast-track boot camps like Teach for America say, there is no short cut to good teaching and no greater value to a school than a core of experienced teachers.

That is what a step-based salary schedule contributes to.



3 thoughts on “Teacher salary and steps in Kaneland.

  1. Red state Indiana politicians believe that private charter schools deserve a 10% funding increase but public schools deserve only a 2% increase. I guess politicians in this state think its okay for teachers to work 2-3 jobs to survive. Notice that Indiana teacher salaries saw ‘the least change of any state between 2002 and 2017.
    Teachers organize pay protest at training conference for education employees
    13 HOURS AGO

    At least 60 teachers in bright red shirts confronted Indiana school administrators outside of a conference to demand higher pay and greater funding for the state’s traditional public schools.

    “I grew up as a foster kid. One of the only things I really had was my school system,” said Allistare Lute, a 33-year-old teacher from Decatur Township, while holding a red-and-white sign listing off numbers about Indiana’s teacher pay rates and school funding. “If we’re going to turn around and fund these private institutions that they call public…but not fund our public schools, we’re taking away from our kids and our future.”

    Teachers at Tuesday’s demonstration repeatedly pointed to a report by Forbesmagazine that found Indiana teacher salaries saw the least change of any state between 2002 and 2017. They also criticized the state budget lawmakers finalized this year, pointing to an analysis circulated by state Democrats that shows the state allocates a 2% funding increase for traditional public schools while providing a 10% increase for public charter schools in each of the next two years.


  2. In the private sector, an employee with similar experience and education can increase their earnings as a result of promotion and job title Also, for experience, loyalty, and – something you don’t have in your vocabulary – meritorious performance.  Promotions/job-title-changes not required for those raises.  But, then, simply living another year doesn’t get one those raises either.

    1. Anyone who thinks that merit and ability are the basis for compensation in the private sector has never worked there. I have. There was more dead meat among the managerial class than in the butcher case at Safeway.

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