SB 2001, a teacher pay raise bill, passed unanimously in the Senate Education Committee this morning. The bill gives certified teachers with three or more years’ experience a $1,000 pay increase. Teachers with two years of experience and less will get a slightly larger pay bump of $1,110 to bring them to an even $37,000 starting salary. Assistant teachers will receive a $1,000 pay increase. All increases are effective July 1, 2020.
Senate leaders made it clear that this salary increase, while smaller than they would like, is just the beginning of efforts to improve teacher pay and address the teacher shortage crisis. They plan a comprehensive study of teacher pay that will inform the subsequent pay raises they intend to give in years 2, 3, and 4 of this term. Lt. Gov. Hosemann reminded us today of the critical role teachers play in our society, and he emphasized that the goal is to bring teachers to a salary level that will enable them to focus on educating our children without having to worry about whether or not they can pay their bills.
Earlier in the session, the Mississippi House passed a deficit appropriation to ensure that all teachers will receive the full pay raise passed last year, after a calculation error resulted in an inadequate appropriation at the end of the last legislative session.
Clearly, teacher pay is a priority for this Legislature. Please join us in thanking legislators for putting an increase in teacher pay at the top of their to-do list in the very first year of this term. It is significant. We look forward to working with legislators in both chambers to make the 2020 Legislative Session a great one for public education. Together, we’ve got this!