When it comes to entry level teachers, Montana has some of the lowest rates of teacher pay in the nation. In fact, before Greg Gianforte became governor, Montana had the worst entry level teacher pay in the nation under Democrat Governor Steve Bullock.

During his first legislative session as governor, Gianforte and the Republican-dominated legislature got a boost for entry level teacher pay across the finish line.

Gov. Gianforte: Last session a program we put in is called the TEACH Act. This increases starting teacher pay. In our new proposed budget, we increased the funding for the TEACH Act by another 40%. I met with some of these teachers. I met one up on the High Line. She said with this, it was about a $3,500 a year bump for a starting teacher pay, as a result of that she didn't have to work a second job. Another gal I talked to said she wouldn't have been able to take the job if it hadn't been for that increase. The TEACH Act helped hundreds of teachers across Montana, we boosted the funding in this new budget.


Why it matters

Think about it. If you're a new teacher from small-town Montana and you just graduated college, you've got a lot of bills to pay. So if you can go to Wyoming or South Dakota for a better paying first job- what else happens? Maybe you settle down, start a family, grow attached to your new community- and then that's one more Montana family that didn't get to stay in Montana.

Full chat and listener phone calls with Gov. Gianforte where we talked tax cuts and more:

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