Wednesday, January 12, 2022
JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — The Mississippi House and Senate are pushing forward with separate plans to give pay raises to teachers.
The House Appropriations Committee on Tuesday passed House Bill 530, and the whole House could debate the bill in coming days.
The committee action happened a day after Senate leaders revealed their own plan to increase teachers’ pay. The Senate plan would bring an average increase of $4,700 over two years.
The House proposes a $6,000 increase for teachers on the lowest end of the pay scale, and smaller amounts for those with more experience.
The two Republican-controlled chambers and Republican Gov. Tate Reeves must agree on a single plan before teachers could see more money.
Mississippi has some of the lowest teacher salaries in the United States.
The average teacher salary in Mississippi during the 2019-20 academic year was $46,843, according to the Southern Regional Education Board. That lagged behind the average of $55,205 for teachers in the 16 states of the regional organization. The national average was $64,133.
The starting salary for a Mississippi teacher with a bachelor’s degree is $37,000 for the current school year, according to the state Department of Education. Teachers with advanced degrees and more experience are paid more.
Reeves has proposed giving teachers a $1,300 pay raise during the budget year that begins July 1, then $1,000 raises for each of the next two years.