Higher Salaries Included in Bill to Combat Teacher Shortage in Conn.

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Schools across the country are facing a teacher shortage and Connecticut is no exception. Many people say we've been dealing with this since before the pandemic.

State leaders and educators will discuss a bill on Wednesday that works to recruit and retain teachers in the state. One way is by raising teachers' salaries.

The proposed legislation works to increase the minimum salary by four times the federal poverty level for one person. That means starting salaries would be raised to more than $58,000.

The bill would also include a COVID-19 service benefit. Any teacher who worked during the 2019 and 2020 school year will get a benefit enhancement when they retire.

Experts said the teacher shortage hit some school districts more than others. Last year, some saw as much as 20 percent of teachers leave the profession.

The most challenging positions to fill include special education, math, science, bilingual and school psychologists.

President of Connecticut's Education Association Kate Diaz said increasing teachers' salaries is just a piece of the puzzle. She said the state also needs to tackle working conditions like class size.

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