JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – Missouri Gov. Mike Parson has approved a large education package to increase teacher pay and encourage schools to proceed with five-day school weeks, among other actions.

Parson signed SB 727 and HB 2287 into law on Tuesday.

Two big parts of the bills: Missouri will raise its starting teacher pay salary from from $25,000 to $40,000. There will also be an incentive to give more money to schools that have five-day school weeks.

According to a March 2024 FOX 2 report, Missouri is dealing with a large shortage of educators, and 168 districts have implemented a shortened week. Advocates say the legislation increases state aid for districts that reinstate or maintain a five-day week, thus allowing them to raise teacher salaries.

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“Since the beginning of our administration, we’ve looked at ways to increase teacher pay and reward our educators for the hard work they do, and this legislation helps us continue that progress,” said Gov. Parson via a news release. “We ask a lot of our educators when it comes to teaching and caring for our children. Together, this legislation supports Missouri students, teachers, and families with more educational opportunities to succeed – including additional investments in pre-k – while ensuring our teachers earn a better wage.”

As far as teacher salaries, in addition to raising the minimum, the bill calls to increase salaries for Missouri teachers with a master’s degree and 10+ years experience to a minimum of $48,000 per year by 2027 and increases all Missouri teachers’ salaries with the January Consumer Price Index report in mind, with a cap of 3 percent annually.

The bills also plan to incentivize school districts in municipalities with more than 30,000 residents to move forward with five-day school weeks. 

Parson says the bill will also increase state funding for early childhood programs, increase the small school grant funding program from $15 million to $30 million per year and establish a teacher recruitment and retention state scholarship page.

NOTE: Video is from FOX 2’s March 2024 report.