Local schools need teacher raises to compete

TOPEKA, Kan. – (KSNT) Shawnee County Superintendents say their schools need more money to recruit teachers. Six superintendents from Shawnee County school districts discussed their problems and successes at the State of Education Luncheon hosted by the Topeka Chamber of Commerce Tuesday.

Kansas was short 1,500 teachers at the beginning of the current school year. Dr. Tiffany Anderson, Superintendent of Topeka Public Schools said Kansas universities aren’t graduating enough teachers to meet the state’s demand.

“There are not enough teachers that actually graduate college to fill the number of jobs in Kansas,” Dr. Anderson said.

Dr. Anderson said her district needs more money for teacher salaries to attract educators from out-of-state.

“We want to be as competitive as possible with all surrounding areas, with Missouri and with any other bordering area as it relates to salary,” she said.

Teachers in Shawnee County earned an average of $52,000 last year. The state average teacher salary is $55,000 per year. The best paying district has an average salary of $66,000.

Kansas lawmakers approved a budget increase of $292,000,000 for next year, but a lawyer for Kansas school districts says they need $893,000,000.

Lawmakers have until late June of next year to resolve school funding problems. The districts must wait to see if lawmakers will provide more money when they return to session in January.

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