I have classmates graduating with their education degree but choosing not to use it because the amount of time, dedication, and effort that we put into teaching is not reflected in our pay.

Kendrah Willey

First Year Teacher, SAD 68 EA

On the Thursday of February break, MEA members from across the state descended upon the State House to advocate for our schools, professions, and students. Teachers, support staff, and retired educators dressed in red lined the halls of the State House in Augusta for MEA Lobby Days.

The message resonated loud and clear. With red shirts, red scarves, and red blouses everywhere legislators knew MEA was in the building and they knew we were advocating for higher pay for teachers and all school support staff through funding two key bills, LD 974 and LD 1064 in the supplemental budget. Both bills, aimed at raising pay for teachers and school staff, garnered unanimous bipartisan support from the Education and Cultural Affairs committee.

Members shared powerful testimonies about the challenges of working in understaffed schools and the struggles to attract new educators. Unfilled positions leave our students without the support they deserve, and it’s only getting worse. MEA President, Grace Leavitt emphasized the issue: “It is critical that we do more to attract and retain quality educators to work with our students in Maine. LD 974 and 1064 will go a long way towards doing just that.”

Leaders from both parties recognize the need to invest in our schools and educators. Senator Teresa Pierce, a sponsor of LD 1064, highlighted the importance of competitive pay to retain qualified educators and ensure our students have the best possible education. “School districts across Maine are struggling to hire and retain qualified teachers. We know a major part of the problem is low pay that hasn’t kept up with the cost of inflation. Raising pay to keep pace with both the cost of living and the pay in surrounding states is critical to making sure our students have the best education possible, so they can become the leaders of tomorrow. Investing in schools and educators means investing in Maine’s future,” she said in a statement to MEA.

This is just the beginning! MEA remains committed to working with legislators to secure funding for these crucial bills.


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Teachers, ed techs, bus drivers, lunchroom workers, support staff make a difference in schools. They’re not paid enough.

State. Rep Michael Brennan

It is critical that we do more to attract and retain quality educators to work with our students in Maine. LD 974 and 1064 will go a long way towards doing just that.

Grace Leavitt

MEA President


LD 1064 Teacher Salary Increase

Would lift the minimum teacher salary, gradually, to $50,000. This bill was passed last year and remains on the Appropriations table. We need to get the funding secured to make this happen so we will keep pushing.

LD 974 Support Staff Wage Increase

Would lift the minimum wage for school support staff to 125% of the state minimum wage for all support staff and 150% for ed techs. Given the shortages we are seeing, we need to get this bill funded and passed. On Tuesday, the Education Committee revisited the bill, given the new information about the cost of implementation. Instead of a projected cost of $240 million the state now believes it will cost about $14 million to lift the minimum for all school support staff.