The state Senate passed a bill Thursday that would give Mississippi teachers a $1,000 pay increase.
Senate Bill 2001 is authored by state Sen. Dennis DeBar, R-Leakesville, who is the chairman of the Senate Education. If the measure is signed into law by Gov. Tate Reeves, first-year teacher that meets the lowest certification standard will receive a $1,100 pay hike from $35,980 to $37,000. Teachers in the lowest certification standard would see their pay increase from $36,800 to $37,880 with four years of experience. Other pay brackets will receive $1,000.
Using the last teacher pay hike as a guide (a $1,500 pay hike would cost taxpayers $76.9 million), the annual cost for this pay hike would be $51.3 million annually.
“Our public educators are on the front lines of this pandemic, continuing to make sure Mississippi children receive first-rate instruction," Lt. Gov. Delbert Hosemann said in a statement. "Today, the Senate showed their gratitude by unanimously sending a pay increase to the House.”
The bill is on its way to the House of Representatives.
Mississippi teachers are paid according to both their certification level and their experience. Districts can and often pay teachers more than the base pay rate. Salaries also increase both with experience and with new certification levels.
If the measure is signed into law by the governor, it will be the fourth pay raise Mississippi teachers have received in addition to annual step increases.
In 2000, a $337 million plan was enacted over a six-year span.
In 2014, a two-year, $100 million plan passed by the legislature increased teacher pay $1,500 in the first year and $1,000 in second. A 2019 pay increase added up to $1,500, which will cost taxpayers $76.9 million per year.
The House of Representatives passed House Bill 199 Thursday, which provides additional appropriations for fiscal year 2021, which ends June 30.
Among the appropriations in the bill are:
- $5.6 million for the Institutes of Higher Learning’s Office of Student Financial Aid.
- $4 million for improvements to the state’s law enforcement training facility, the Mississippi Law Enforcement Officers’ Training Academy.
- $3.064 million for vocational and technical education programs.
- $2.3 million for the Rural Fire Truck Fund, which helps rural communities purchase new fire trucks.
- $1.5 million is appropriated for a new trooper school.
- $1.522 million for the Department of Public Safety.