ASHDOWN, Ark. - Arkansas educators will soon be getting a significant pay raise.
Gov. Asa Hutchinson recently signed two education bills to increase the average teacher pay by about $2,000 over the next two years, so the new average will be nearly $52,000.
Ashdown School District was planning a teacher pay raise before the governor signed the measures for raising teacher's pay.
District leaders said this means they maybe able to give even more compensation in the near future. Earlier this month, the school district approved a $3,250 pay raise for all certified teachers.
"We're very, very excited about this. I think we have a great few years plan ahead of us and will be a great thing for our staff that is genuinely here for our kids," said Casey Nichols, district superintendent.
Nichols said the increase means they'll have a competitive salary schedule for schools of their size in the region. The district currently has about 1,400 students.
Nichols said he's been working with the school board for several months to figure out the best way to compensate and show appreciation to the district's educators for their hard work.
"This isn't the end, this is somewhat the beginning, but it puts us at a very competitive situation as far as teach pay is concerned in this region," Nichols said.
The school board's teacher pay raise will go into effect in July.
Hutchinson has said the new bills to raise teacher pay will help make Arkansas competitive in the surrounding region and help draw in new teachers from surrounding states and across the country.