Raising minimum salaries for PA teachers and property taxes explained

The minimum yearly salary for public school teachers in Pennsylvania hasn’t increased since 1988, when it was set at $18,500.

In his 2019 budget proposal, Gov. Tom Wolf proposed raising the minimum salary for teachers to $45,000 annually. If approved, it would increase the salaries of about 3,000 teachers working in 180 school districts. The average teacher in Pennsylvania is paid $67,000 a year.

The Wolf Administration estimates the higher minimum would cost about $14 million to bring the salaries of those making less than $45,000 up to that level. There have been suggestions that that estimate is low. Other objections have centered on the impact higher salaries would have on rural school districts who generally have less money and whether there would be a ripple effect of increasing all teacher salaries.

Appearing on Monday’s Smart Talk to discuss increasing the minimum salary for teachers is Chris Lilienthal PSEA Assistant Director of Communications, Pennsylvania State Education Association. Also with us is Hannah Barrick, Director of Advocacy, Pennsylvania Association of School Business Officials.
Also, it seems fitting that the quote ‘In this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes,’ is attributed to Benjamin Franklin, a famous Pennsylvanian. It would seem more appropriate if the quote specified property taxes, because these taxes seem to get the most attention.

PAPost.org’s The Listening Post takes on a reader’s question, “what keeps these taxes in force.”

PA Post reporter Ed Mahon joins Smart Talk to discuss why school property taxes are so hard to kill.