/House unveils massive teacher pay raise, tops Senate proposal

House unveils massive teacher pay raise, tops Senate proposal

Nonprofit Mississippi News The House presented its own proposal to increase the starting salary of all teachers by $4,000-$6,000 per year, just a day after the Mississippi Senate had proposed the largest teacher pay hike in decades. House Education Chairman Richard Bennett said that this bill was a long-term solution and not a one-time raise. The “START Act of 2022” bill passed the House Appropriations Committee Tuesday. It will now be considered by the whole House. Bennett stated that the bill was a two-year project. He said, “We worked with the (Southern Region Education Board),” and also spoke with teachers. “This is a historic moment for both our students, and our teachers. This will make us more competitive against other states and address our teacher shortage.” Bennett stated that the House plan would raise starting teacher salaries from $37,000 per year to $43,125. Mississippi would be above the average in the Southeast of $39,754 as well as the national average at $41,163. Senate’s proposal would raise starting salary to $40,000 but provide substantial increases every five years throughout a teacher’s career. Bennett stated that starting salaries in Alabama and Louisiana, where many Mississippi teachers moved to higher-paying jobs, are $41,845 or $42,547. READ MORE: Senate leaders announce historic plan to increase teacher pay. The House plan will cost taxpayers $219 millions a year beginning next fiscal year. This compares to the Senate plan which would cost $210,000,000 a year after a phase-in of two years. The Senate plan provides a $44 million, year-two, across-the-board increase in teacher pay of $1,000. The Senate plan does not include a $2,000 increase in pay for teachers assistants. Both plans would “restructure” the teacher salary ladder, or “steps,” that determine teachers’ pay at different levels of experience and training. The House plan would offer more immediate increases, ranging from $4,000 up to $6,000. The Senate plan would offer a more immediate increase of between $4,000 and $6,000. However, it would give a larger bump in teacher pay each five-year period. According to several metrics, Mississippi’s teacher salaries are among the lowest in the country. Mississippi’s public education advocates, who watched this week’s unveiling of the two teacher pay increases proposals, said that they were pleasantly surprised by the details. Nancy Loome, director at The Parents’ Campaign, said that “This seems like a great beginning.” “This sounds like a great start,” said Nancy Loome, director of The Parents’ Campaign. “Under Senate plan, some experienced teachers will see an increase in as little as $5 in the first year and as much as $1,005 in the full two-year period… The House plan provides minimum $4,000 per year for all teachers.” Bennett also stated that a new teacher would receive thousands of dollars less from the Senate plan over ten years. He noted that the plan does not include teacher assistants’ salaries. With Lt. Governor. Delbert Hosemann and Philip Gunn, House Speaker, and Gov. Tate Reeves, House Speaker Philip Gunn and Delbert Hosemann all supported a “significant” increase in teacher salaries this year. Some members of the House Appropriations Committee questioned Bennett’s plan, questioning whether it was feasible for the state to pay such a recurring cost. Bennett stated that the increase would be paid for using recurring revenue and not “one-time” money. This will not put pressure on the state’s relatively affluent budget. Rep. Dan Eubanks (R-Walls) said that he has heard that Mississippi’s state retirement system and other benefits are comparable or better to those in neighboring states. He also questioned why teacher starting salaries should be raised above the national and regional averages. Bennett stated that “we aren’t competitive with other states right at the moment and we’re losing our teachers.” “They’re kicking us butts.” READ MORE. Inside Speaker Philip Gunn, Lt. Governor. Delbert Hosemann and his relationship