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Day after Senate leaders propose...

Day after Senate leaders propose teacher pay increase, Mississippi House version raises the bar even higher

By: Frank Corder - January 11, 2022

The Senate version would move starting teacher pay to $40,000. The newly released House bill trumps that by $3,000.

On Monday, Lt. Governor Delbert Hosemann (R) and Senate Education Chairman Dennis DeBar (R) released their proposal to raise teacher pay over the coming years, restructuring the pay scale and investing some $210 million into teacher pay.

As reported by Y’all Politics, under the proposal, a Class A teacher with a baccalaureate degree would start at $40,000.  Teachers would receive $500 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.

At the five-year mark 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; and Class AAAA (doctoral) would receive $1,625.

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

The implementation of the Senate proposal would mean teachers would receive an average pay raise of about $4,700 over three years.

READ MORE: Lt. Gov. Hosemann, Senate Education Chairman DeBar propose $210 million investment in teacher pay

In late December, State Representative Richard Bennett (R), Chairman of the House Education Committee, told Y’all Politics that legislation to raise teacher pay in Mississippi is at the top of his list, adding that he expects legislation to be finalized “right out of the gate.”

Tuesday, a day after the Senate offered their proposal, Rep. Bennett released his proposal to address a teacher pay raise. It raises the bar $9 million for a total price tag of $219 million.

HB 530 was filed this week and it titled the “Strategically Accelerating the Recruitment and Retention of Teachers (START) Act of 2022.”

Chairman Bennett’s proposal would trump the Senate plan and make the starting salary for a Class A teacher $43,000 – $3,000 more than was proposed by Hosemann and DeBar.

State Rep. Fred Shanks told Y’all Politics that the word in the chamber is that House members will take the bill up this week, perhaps even by Wednesday.

The two chambers will likely pass their own version of a teacher pay raise bill and then consider the other chamber’s bill, with the distinct likelihood of this issue ending up in conference between the two chambers.

Governor Tate Reeves (R) has voiced his support for a teacher pay raise. He proposed raising teacher pay $4,300 during his run for the state’s top office in 2019.  The Legislature moved that needle in the 2021 session with a $1,000 teacher pay raise, a bill the Governor was pleased to sign into law. Last fall, he called on lawmakers to again tackle the issue in 2022, providing the remainder of the funds he recommended.

“This additional $3,300 pay raise will result in Mississippi going from 37th nationally to 21st, and 4th in the southeast, and help us attract the top-tier educators that our children deserve,” Reeves said at the time.

There is word yet as to whether Governor Reeves would support either the Senate or House version of the teacher pay raise issue.

You can read the full version of HB 530 here.

About the Author(s)
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Frank Corder

Frank Corder is a native of Pascagoula. For nearly two decades, he has reported and offered analysis on government, public policy, business and matters of faith. Frank’s interviews, articles, and columns have been shared throughout Mississippi as well as in national publications such as the Daily Caller. He is a frequent guest on radio and television, providing insight and commentary on the inner workings of the Magnolia State. Frank has served his community in both elected and appointed public office, hosted his own local radio and television programs, and managed private businesses all while being an engaged husband and father. Email Frank: