COLUMBIA — A new salary increase approved by the Columbia School Board will bring teachers’ starting salaries above $40,000 for the first time ever.
“For teachers, this is good news,” said Noelle Gilzow, president of the Columbia Missouri National Education Association.
The wage increase will apply to all employee groups in the district.
“I know it’s been tough, not just this year, but the past two years with so many openings in these types of positions,” said Heather McArthur, district finance manager.
McArthur and Gilzow hope the raise will put them in a position to compete with their peer districts, such as St. Louis and Kansas City.
Brent Ghan, associate director of the Missouri School Boards’ Association, said Columbia was in a unique position because of its local funding. Small districts are more dependent on state funding, which is not a lot.
“I think you’re going to see some local districts, including Columbia, doing whatever they can to raise teacher salaries,” Ghan said. “It varies a lot from state to state and that’s why we need the state to play a role in raising the minimum wage for teachers.”
The new collective agreement with wage increases runs for part of 2024.