Committee Approves Educator Pay Raises

Cheyenne, WY – Proposed teacher salary increases will likely be heard on the Senate floor. The Senate education committee approved a bill Friday that would increase education salaries by an average of $2,000. The bill passed on a 3-2 vote despite opposition from Education Committee Chairman Hank Coe, who thought lawmakers are providing enough of an increase for educators through other legislation. But supporters counter that the state is having a difficult time recruiting teachers since other states are paying entry level teachers at a much higher level. Niobrara County School Superintendent Rick Luchsinger adds that getting teachers to even apply is tough. A Cheyenne administrator says other states have held job fairs in Cheyenne and have actually hired away current teachers. Represenative Jeff Wasserburger says that Wyoming competes in a national market for teachers, but is losing the battle to recruit University of Wyoming graduates to other states.