Public education in Mississippi will be fully funded, teachers with more than 25 years in the classroom will get raises and beginning teachers will receive mentoring in the coming school year.
Also, districts will have slightly more money for school supplies, and high schools will have more money to enhance curriculum under the $2.5 billion education bill Gov. Haley Barbour signed into law Wednesday.
“We like the fact that it fully funds MAEP (Mississippi Adequate Education Program) and it offers incremental raises for our teachers of more than 25 years,” said Kevin Gilbert, president of the Mississippi Association of Educators, a group representing 8,000 teachers, about a fourth of those in the state. “That’s going to keep some of our veteran teachers in the classroom a little while longer, some of our good teachers. We’re disappointed it did not include a 3 percent raise for all our teachers across the board.”
Lawmakers were unable to agree on raises for all teachers but have said House Bill 513 overall was a good compromise for fiscal 2009, which begins July 1.