State education committee proposes teacher pay hike

(WILX)
Published: Jan. 10, 2022 at 3:01 PM CST
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JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) - Mississippi Senate Education Committee is proposing a $210 million investment in teachers over the next two years, raising a teacher’s base pay on average by $4,700.

Lt. Governor Delbert Hosemann said Senate Education Chairman Dennis DeBar created the plan after holding a committee hearing, traveling across the state hosting teacher listening sessions, and meeting with teachers in other small-group settings.

“This plan was devised using the input our teachers on the ground and in our classrooms provided,” Hosemann said.

Under the proposal, a Class A teacher with a baccalaureate degree would start at $40,000.  Teachers would $500 receive step increases at most every year, including in the first three years of teaching. Step increases are not currently provided until the third year of teaching, though many leave the profession before Year 5.

At the pivotal five-year marks in a teacher’s career (up to Year 25), teachers would receive a larger increase based on their certification:

  • Class A teachers (baccalaureate) would receive $1,325
  • Class AA teachers (master’s degree) would receive $1,425
  • Class AAA (specialist) would receive $1,525
  • Class AAAA (doctoral) would receive $1,625

DeBar said the state’s current salary schedule results in backloading pay and makes it difficult for Mississippi to ever be competitive with surrounding states, but not the plan he’s proposing.

“This structure, the pieces of which were recommended by Mississippi classroom teachers, will result in a more equitable distribution across a teacher’s career and higher salaries in mid-years when it is likely a teacher has a family to consider,” he said.

The base salary schedule does not include any local supplements teachers receive or state supplements, like extra compensation to locate in certain critical needs areas or become a National Board Certified Teacher. 

The implementation of this proposal would mean teachers would receive an average pay raise of about $5,700 over three years, including the $1,000 raise provided by the Legislature last year.

The best workforce development plan is a good education,” Hosemann added. “The teaching profession is critical to our success and prosperity as a State.”

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