Bill would close the wage gap between teachers and college graduates in other fields
Torrance, CA – 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 percent by 2030. This measure seeks to close the existing wage gap between teachers and similarly educated college graduates in other fields. The bill is supported by the California Federation of Teachers (CFT), California Teachers Association (CTA), and the California School Employees Association (CSEA), among others. It is set for a hearing in the Assembly Education Committee today.
Specifically, 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 percent by 2030. The bill would establish targets for the state LCFF base grant to be increased by 50 percent by fiscal year 2030-31, while requiring school districts to report their progress in meeting the 50 percent increase in salaries over a seven-year period.
"We need to pay our teachers and essential school staff what they deserve," said Assemblymember Al 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 percent 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 percent 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. 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," said E. Toby Boyd, President, CTA.
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.
Assemblymember Al Muratsuchi represents California’s 66th Assembly District, which includes El Segundo, Gardena, Hermosa Beach, Lomita, Los Angeles, Manhattan Beach, Palos Verdes Estates, Rancho Palos Verdes, Redondo Beach, Rolling Hills, Rolling Hills Estates, San Pedro and Torrance. Muratsuchi is Chair of the Assembly Education Committee, Chair of the Assembly Select Committee on Aerospace, and a member of the Committees on Budget, Budget Subcommittee on Education, Military and Veterans Affairs, Natural Resources, Utilities and Energy and the Joint Legislative Committee on Climate Change Policies.