Governor Butch Otter proposes pay increase for Idaho Teachers - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Governor Butch Otter proposes pay increase for Idaho Teachers

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COEUR D'ALENE, Idaho- "It's important for states to invest in their teachers because we are training and educating the future of the state and this country," says Melissa Mello, a teacher with the Coeur d'Alene Public School District.

Mello is happy to hear Governor Butch Otter is pushing to raise the base salary for teachers from $31,000 to $40,000 within the next 5 years, after a study was released that found Idaho ranked 12th in the nation for best places for teachers.

"I appreciate the results of this survey because I want our teachers to know we value them," said Governor Otter in a press release.

The survey from WalletHub looked at 50 states and the District of Columbia, analyzing median and starting salaries, annual salaries, job openings per capita, and elementary schools per capita.

"I love being a teacher in Idaho, there's a lot that educators in this state have to offer students," says Mello.

Mello has been a teacher for 9 years, and in that time has been given a teacher of the year award for the district and currently is nominated for teacher of the year for the state. She wasn't surprised the state ranked so high, but where it ranked high in some categories, it was relatively low in others.

In areas like academics and work environment, the state ranked very low.

"As a state we ranked 38th, as a state," says Coeur d'Alene Superintendent Mike Handelman who acknowledges that these areas need work. "How much money is spent per student in the state, which we've known for a while we're very low."

Handelman and Mello are both confident the Governor's investment in the teachers will improve education throughout the state.

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