Arkansas Teacher Salaries on Agenda at State Capitol

LITTLE ROCK, AR - Teacher pay was a top priority at the House and Senate Education Committee meeting this morning at the State Capitol.

A report was revealed comparing Arkansas salaries to those in neighboring states and in the region.

It also showed the disparities within Arkansas among school districts.

An average teacher salary in Arkansas is just over $46,000 compared to more than $48,000 in Texas and Tennessee.

A starting salary for an Arkansas teacher is a little more than $29,000.

"We don't know what the number is going to be but two things that are really important doing something about the starting salary. Many teachers have been stuck at the starting salary for a long time, and the disparity - you can live in one part of the state and start at $40,000 and another and start at 29 or $30,000," says State Senator Joyce Elliott of Little Rock.

Sen. Elliott says one of her concerns and what she'll be focusing on is -- not just money -- but also finding out how to make communities more appealing to teachers to want to work and live in.

Elliott says a decision on teacher pay won't be made until August.

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