This keeps the teacher pay legislation alive after the House did not take up the Senate plan earlier in the day
UPDATE Wednesday 11:00 a.m.:
The Mississippi Senate took up HB 530 on the floor which included a strike all that entered the language from the Senate’s teacher pay raise bill. The bill was brought up by Education chair Dennis DeBar.
The bill was ultimately passed on the floor in the Senate and transmitted to the House.
Many members commented on the “politics” at play in passing the teacher pay raise at the last minute on Tuesday and urged the House to to take it up before the end of the week so. By the time the Senate took it up on Wednesday, the House was adjourned for the day.
Lt. Governor Delbert Hosemann applauded Senator DeBar for his work on the bill after its passage.
“The future of Mississippi is in our children and those who educate them,” Lt. Governor Delbert Hosemann said. “Giving teachers a raise continues to be a priority for the Senate.”
At Years 5, 10, 15, and 20, 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. At 25 years of service, teachers would receive an increase of $2,500.
Teacher assistants would receive a $2,000 raise under the bill.
“We held listening sessions during the fall at which teachers provided us with their concerns and recommendations,” Senate Education Chairman Dennis DeBar said. “This plan was developed for teachers by teachers.”
Today, March 1, was the committee deadline for general bills in the opposite chamber. Any legislation that did not move out of committee by tonight under the guidelines will die on the calendar.
Among the bills that were eligible to pass out of committee were both chambers’ teacher pay raise bills, SB 2444 and HB 530.
Until late in the afternoon on Tuesday, neither chambers had not passed the bills. If nothing had been done before the end of day, the teacher pay raise bills would have died on the calendar.
When the Senate came back to the floor at four-o-clock, Senate Appropriations and Education Committee meetings were called.
During the Senate Education meeting, the Senators passed a strike-all amendment that would change HB 530’s language to that of SB 2444. In addition to the change, a raise for assistant teachers was included.
The Senate Appropriations met immediately after Senate Education’s adjournment and passed HB 530 as amended quickly with no discussion.
Following the passage of HB 530, Senate Education Committee Chairman Dennis DeBar and Lieutenant Governor Delbert Hosemann discussed what led up to the creation of the bill and its importance.
Sen. DeBar added that the teachers will be the ones to benefit from todays decision and their pay remains a number one priority of the Senate. #msleg pic.twitter.com/Mq0F0okSKy
— Magnolia Tribune (@magnoliatribune) March 1, 2022
In late January, the Mississippi Senate passed their version of a $210 million Teacher Pay Plan by a vote of 35-0. Lt. Governor Hosemann released a statement following the vote thanking Senate Education Chairman DeBar for his work.
“Teachers open the gates of the minds of our future,” Lt. Governor Hosemann said in a statement. “I am thankful for the work of Chairman DeBar in listening to teachers to devise a pay system that begins the long necessary journey to monetarily rewarding their efforts.”
DeBar said the current salary schedule results in backloading pay and this makes it difficult for lawmakers to ever be competitive with surrounding states.
“The bottom line is the teachers are winners here,” DeBar said following the Senate Education and Appropriations meetings. “They don’t need to be used as pawns in a game of politics and we’re here to take care of teachers, to take care of our students and to improve our education system in Mississippi.”
The Senate Education chairman said this will show teachers that lawmakers are committed to them.
“It’s the number one issue for the Senate, and we’ll keep pushing it and pushing it until we get it done,” DeBar said.