August 26, 2018
To the Honorable Members of
The Illinois Senate,
100th General Assembly:
Today I veto Senate Bill 2892, which would mandate that school boards throughout the state pay full-time teachers no less than $40,000 per year by the 2022-2023 school year.
Teachers are our greatest asset in ensuring the future of our youth and they deserve to be well-compensated for their hard work. However, minimum pay legislation is neither the most efficient nor the most effective way to compensate our teachers. Illinois is one of only 17 states that utilize statewide teacher salary schedules to guarantee some level of minimum pay for teachers. This approach to teacher compensation both limits a school district’s local control and imposes a significant unfunded mandate on school districts. Furthermore, as is well exemplified by Illinois, a salary schedule needs to constantly be updated in order to remain relevant; legislative action is not the most efficient way to maintain relevance.
There are many innovative teacher compensation strategies that, if adopted and implemented at the school district level, would preserve local control and protect districts from the burden of even more unfunded mandates. Things like pay-for-performance, diversified pay for teachers in hard-to-staff schools or subjects, or pay incentives for teachers with prior work experience are all viable options to provide greater compensation for teachers. I highly encourage local school districts to adopt and implement the compensation structures that best suit their local needs.
Therefore, pursuant to Section 9(b) of Article IV of the Illinois Constitution of 1970, I hereby return Senate Bill 2892, entitled “AN ACT concerning education,” with the foregoing objections, vetoed in its entirety.