/Mississippi Senate teacher pay plan passes committees

Mississippi Senate teacher pay plan passes committees

Nonprofit Mississippi News The Senate Education and Appropriations Committees approved a proposal that would give teachers an average increase in salary of $4,700 over two-years. It could be considered by all the Senate members as soon as Friday morning. Already, the House has sent its proposal for teacher pay to the Senate. Both chambers’ leaders have stated that a significant pay increase for teachers should be one of their top priorities in the 2022 session. If either plan is passed, it would be the largest teacher pay increase in history. It is likely that a combination of both plans will pass in the 2022 session. Tate Reeves has stated that he supports teacher pay increases, but his plan calls for a smaller increase in the amount proposed by legislators. Thursday’s Education Committee vote was the first time that the plan was proposed by Lt. Governor, the chamber’s presiding official. Delbert Hosemann and Senator Dennis DeBar (R-Leakesville), are the Education Committee’s chairmen. It is expected to cost $210 millions over the next two years. DeBar stated that the $166 million spent in the first fiscal year would be used to adjust the teacher’s salary ladder and provide a “significant” increase. The second year’s money would provide teachers with a $1,000 all-around raise. Based on years of experience and education, the ladder determines each year’s state compensation for teachers. Teachers receive a modest increase each year — around $500 — each year they gain more experience. Teachers are also paid more based on their academic degree. Teachers in their first three years of employment do not get an automatic raise. They would under the Senate plan. Additionally, the plan would offer significantly higher raises for every five-year increment: $1,325 for teachers with a bachelor’s and master’s degrees, $1.425 for master’s students, $1.525 for specialists, and $1,624 to doctorates. Teachers would receive the higher step increases every five year and, most importantly, the incremental increases would be part of their regular salary. Teachers receive $2,000 more annually under existing law when they complete 25 years of service. DeBar stated that teachers are being given incentives to enter the profession or stay in it. The estimated cost of the House plan is $219 million. It would be passed in one year, instead of the two-years required by the Senate bill. According to information from the House leadership, the plan would raise the starting salary for teachers to $37,000 to $43,124 annually, compared to $39.897 for the region, and $41,163 nationwide. The bill also includes a $2,000 salary increase for teacher assistants. At this stage, the Senate plan does not include a raise for teacher assistants. Based on various metrics, the pay for Mississippi teachers is the lowest in the country.