Yesterday, in a great show of support for public school teachers, SB 2001 – the teacher pay raise bill, unanimously passed the full Senate. Every member of the Senate signed on as a co-author of the bill, and the vote was followed by a standing ovation in the Senate chamber!
Senate Education Chair Dennis DeBar pointed out that SB 2001 is the first Senate bill of the four-year term and that never before in his three terms of service has the Legislature passed a teacher pay raise in a term’s first year. This, he said, is evidence of the Senate leadership’s commitment to public education.
The chairman acknowledged that the $1,000 across-the-board raise for teachers and assistant teachers ($1,110 for teachers with 0 to 2 years of experience) was less than what he would prefer, and he emphasized that the goal for the four-year term is to not only meet, but exceed, the Southeastern average. Legislators will spend the summer studying the level of teacher compensation in other states and developing a plan to address our teacher shortage and make Mississippi’s teacher salaries competitive.
Please join us in thanking senators and Lt. Gov. Hosemann for this important first step in improving teacher pay!
SB 2001 now will move to the House of Representatives, and we anticipate good support for the pay raise on that side, as well. We’ll keep you posted as the bill works its way through the system.