BOISE, Idaho (AP) — Starting teacher pay will increase to $40,000 annually in a move Idaho lawmakers hope will attract and keep more teachers in the state.

Gov. Brad Little on Wednesday signed into law the legislation that received overwhelming support in the House and Senate.

The new law boosts starting teacher pay to $38,500 next year and to $40,000 the year after that. Starting teachers currently make a minimum of about $36,000.

Little says increasing starting salaries for teachers sends a clear signal to teachers and potential teachers that the state appreciates and values them.

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