Mississippi House passes its Teacher Pay Raise plan by a vote of 114-6
By:Anne Summerhays - January 12, 2022
trategically Accelerating the Recruitment and Retention of Teachers (START) Act of 2022
The START Act now goes to the Senate where lawmakers there have announced their own plan.
On Wednesday, State Rep. Richard Bennett, Chairman of the House Education Committee, presented his $219 million proposal to address a teacher pay raise. HB 530 sailed through the House will little discussion, gaining a 114-6 vote of approval.
The six members voting against the bill were Republicans Joel Bomgar, Chris Brown, Dana Criswell, Brady Williamson, Dan Eubanks and Steve Hopkins. Most of those are members of the House Freedom Caucus.
Rep. Hopkins wrote on his Facebook that he could not support the bill and provide tax relief to all citizens.
“This year we find ourselves in the best situation in our State’s history to be able to eliminate the state income tax without raising the sales tax, be able to cut the cost of car tags in half and cut the grocery tax in half. That cannot be accomplished and commit to the biggest teacher pay raise in our State’s history,” Hopkins wrote.
Rep. Bennett’s proposal came a day after the Senate offered their $210 million plan. You can read the full version of HB 530 here.
If implemented, Strategically Accelerating the Recruitment and Retention of Teachers (START) Act of 2022 would increase starting teacher pay to $43,000, with a state starting average of $43,125.
Rep. Bennett said that while the Senate plan has a 2-year implementation period, the House bill is a 1-year implementation.
On Monday, Sen. Dennis DeBar appeared at the Stennis Press Forum alongside Lt. Governor Delbert Hosemann and presented the Senate’s teacher pay raise plan.
Under the Senate 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.
It is plausible that both of the chambers will pass their own version of a teacher pay raise bill and then consider the other chamber’s bill, likely ending in conference.
Anne Summerhays is a recent graduate of Millsaps College where she majored in Political Science, with minors in Sociology and American Studies. In 2021, she joined Y’all Politics as a Capitol Correspondent. Prior to making that move, she interned for a congressional office in Washington, D.C. and a multi-state government relations and public affairs firm in Jackson, Mississippi. While at Millsaps, Summerhays received a Legislative Fellowship with the Women’s Foundation of Mississippi where she worked with an active member of the Mississippi Legislature for the length of session. She has quickly established trust in the Capitol as a fair, honest, and hardworking young reporter. Her background in political science helps her cut through the noise to find and explain the truth. Email Anne: firstname.lastname@example.org