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Mississippi Speaker Philip Gunn op-ed...

Mississippi Speaker Philip Gunn op-ed on teacher pay raise

By: Magnolia Tribune - March 4, 2014

PHILIP GUNN: Speaker supports growth-based teacher raise

Speaker Philip Gunn’s plan was announced before the Senate plan was announced on Monday.

House Republicans believe if we are going to improve our educational system, we must invest in good teachers. For this reason, we have led the effort to implement a teacher pay raise this year. The plan we have proposed invests in good teachers by calling for a pay raise of $4,250 over the next four years.

First, our plan raises the starting pay for teachers during Fiscal Year (FY) 1 and FY2, which start in January 2015. Currently our base pay is $30,900, but the average base pay for the entire Southeast is closer to $32,500. Our plan increases the starting salary by $1,500 to bring us in line with the Southeastern average.

Secondly, beyond the first two years, our plan provides that if growth is 3 percent or better, then the first 1 percent of growth goes toward teacher pay raises. This will result in a $1,350 raise in FY3 and a $1,400 raise in FY4. The growth projections for our state over the next three fiscal years are 4.4 percent in FY2016, 4.1percent in FY2017, and 3.7 percent in FY2018. We believe these are solid projections.

The effect of this plan is that our teachers will have received a $4,250 raise by July 1, 2018. Please keep in mind that this is an addition to their STEP increases and any other professional advancement increases that are currently in law, including local supplements.

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This article was produced by Magnolia Tribune staff.