High Stakes for Teacher Pay and School Funding

Your vote on Tuesday could have a dramatic impact on our children’s futures!

When it comes to teacher pay, school funding, special education services, access to quality pre-k, keeping public funds in public schools, and more, the stakes are incredibly high, and recent history is likely to provide a more accurate picture of some candidates’ priorities than the campaign ads you see. Here are some education funding facts that you won’t find in politicians’ commercials…

  • Mississippi currently is last among our neighboring states* in starting teacher salaries, despite the teacher pay raise in 2022, making school districts near our state borders once again susceptible to teacher attrition
  • Underfunding of the MAEP has created dramatic funding disparities among Mississippi school districts
  • According to the School Finance Indicators Database, 129 Mississippi school districts had state and local funding that was not sufficient to bring students to the national average in achievement
  • Mississippi’s tremendous improvements in student achievement, despite chronic underfunding, prove that public schools belong atop the list of best state investments

If the last four years were so much better for public schools, why are the numbers so bleak? It’s because the previous eight years (2012-2019) were so horrendously bad. Changes in Senate leadership and nine House seats in the 2019 election shifted the Legislature in a more pro-public school direction. In the last election, successful candidates campaigned on support for public schools, and they proved they meant it in the first legislative session of the term, overriding Gov. Reeves’ veto of public school funding. The following four years brought a wave of good education legislation: a historic teacher pay raise, increased funding for pre-k, and more money for teacher supplies. Elections matter! But the funding hole dug by the 2012-2019 Legislature was deep, and much more needs to be done to get schools the funding required to move every student to his or her potential and to pay teachers a professional salary.

That’s why your vote in this election is so important. We must elect folks who believe that our public schools deserve adequate funding, that public funds should be restricted to accountable public schools, and that teachers deserve another raise. Please urge every public school supporter you know to get to the polls on November 7 and vote for candidates who share their values. 

You can help ensure a better future for our children by taking a few simple steps in the next two days:

  • Check your voter registration (word is that lots of voters have been removed from the rolls)
  • Find your polling place
  • Problems or questions? Call the Election Protection Hotline at 1-866-687-8683
  • Review candidates’ opinions about public school issues on our Candidate Q&A
  • Forward this email to 5 friends and ask them to join you at the polls
  • Text, email, or call family and friends and urge them to vote for public school supporters

We’ve come too far to back up now. Please be sure to vote for public school supporters on Tuesday. Offer a ride to the polls to family and friends. Let’s each do our part to ensure a bright future for all Mississippi children. Together, we’ve got this!

*2023-2024 starting teacher salaries in Alabama, Arkansas, and Tennessee are above Mississippi’s; Louisiana allows school districts to set their own salaries, with no state minimum outlined in statute.


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