Today, House Education Chairman Richard Bennett introduced HB 530, the House version of the teacher pay plan, or START Act. The bill, which increases substantially starting teacher pay and teacher pay overall, was taken up and passed in the Appropriations Committee.
Chairman Bennett lauded the progress that Mississippi teachers have made in improving student achievement and said that they deserve better than the lowest-in-country teacher salaries they have been paid. The goal, he said, is to make the teaching profession more attractive and to reverse the teacher shortage.
The plan provides:
- minimum starting salary of $43,000, beating both the national and Southeastern averages
- annual step increases beginning in year 3, which vary within and among certification levels
- Class A (Bachelor’s degree) steps range from $135 to $495, based on years of experience
- Class AA (Master’s degree) steps range from $410 to $660, based on years of experience
- Class AAA (Specialist degree) steps range from $477 to $727, based on years of experience
- Class AAAA (Doctorate) steps are $794 annually
- retains current $2,500+ bumps for 25-year teachers
- average salary increase of $4,500
- total cost of $202-million
The bill also includes a much-needed $2,000 pay raise for teacher assistants, which would bring their salaries to $17,000. This brings the total investment to $219-million.
The Parents’ Campaign supports this bill, and we are grateful to House Education Chairman Richard Bennett, Education Vice Chair Kent McCarty, and Representatives Kevin Felsher and Jansen Owen, who have worked on the proposal for nearly two years. The House of Representatives is expected to take it up for a floor vote tomorrow. Encourage your representative to VOTE YES on HB 530!
We are extremely fortunate to have two strong proposals from the House and Senate so early in the legislative session, and we look forward to working with both chambers as they hammer out final pay raise legislation. We will do a more complete analysis of both proposals once the Senate bill is filed and will share that with you as soon as it is available.
Keep watching for updates – the good news just keeps coming!