State leaders focused on raising teacher pay, expanding rural broadband

KNWA

DECATUR, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) – Ahead of his final session, Governor Asa Hutchinson said he believes his office is in a good position to achieve many of his goals for the legislature.

I think it would be good at the end of the session to look back and say that we’ve accomplished those things for the people.

GOV. ASA HUTCHINSON, ARKANSAS (R)

Speaking to reporters during a virtual round table discussion on Friday, January 8, Governor Hutchinson, Senate President Jimmy Hickey, and House Speaker Matthew Shepherd said there are two big things in the works for education – increased pay for teachers and bridging the gap between rural and urban schools.

“We have a particular challenge in being able to retain our teachers just because so many can make more in other parts of the state or in other states,” Arkansas House Speaker Matthew Shepherd said.

I think we all know that teachers are not paid what they should be.

MATTHEW SHEPHERD, AR HOUSE SPEAKER

Which is crucial for schools such as Decatur, especially during the era of COVID-19.

Teacher salaries are always a concern when you’re looking at funding for the school year. 

STEVE WATKINS, SUPERINTENDENT, DECATUR SCHOOLS

Decatur Schools Superintendent, Steve Watkins, said teachers are working around the clock due to quarantines, sub shortages, and a lack of consistent internet access.

“Teachers are working hard,” he said. “It’s all hands on deck at the school.”

Watkins said he appreciates state leaders listening to schools on what they need and he’s looking forward to what they come up with as far as a solution.

We really feel like we’ve got an advocate in the state legislature now.

STEVE WATKINS, SUPERINTENDENT, DECATUR SCHOOLS

Copyright 2022 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Latest Video

DON'T MISS

More Don't Miss

Trending Stories

get the app

News App

Weather App

Mega Millions & Powerball Numbers