We believe that the teacher pay raise could be in jeopardy. Our teachers need your help to salvage it.
Media reports indicate that disagreements over the income tax are escalating and that the longer the teacher pay raise bills linger, the more vulnerable they are to legislative shenanigans. Indeed, the House of Representatives has begun bogging down Senate bills with a technicality that ensures the bills cannot be finalized without going back to the House a second time, a sign that confirms rumors of Speaker Gunn’s threats to kill other bills if he doesn’t get his way on income tax cuts.
We need to get the teacher pay raise bills resolved in conference right away and final legislation to Gov. Reeves.
In our virtual REAL TALK session last evening, Senate Education Chair DeBar and House Vice Chair McCarty said they are absolutely committed to doing all they can to see the teacher pay raise all the way through the process. However, they clarified that they cannot make any guarantees about the final actions of the full Legislature, though both assured us there is broad support among members of the House and the Senate. This is another indication that the end result of the teacher pay raise likely will be driven by the leadership.
Please call House Speaker Philip Gunn and Lt. Gov. Delbert Hosemann with this message:
We are counting on you to get the teacher pay raise bills from BOTH chambers to conference right away and a final bill to Gov. Reeves.
Speaker Gunn: 601.359.3300
Lt. Gov. Hosemann: 601.359.3200
Many thanks to Sen. Dennis DeBar and Rep. Kent McCarty for a very meaningful and insightful REAL TALK conversation last evening! Our members were emphatic that they expect the Legislature to make good on its promise of a significant teacher pay raise. They also made clear that they want legislative leaders to prioritize teacher pay and school funding over income tax cuts.
If the Legislature cannot afford to fully fund public schools and pay our teachers at the Southeastern average, we cannot afford to reduce state revenue. Strong public schools are dependent upon sufficient state funding. Cutting revenue when schools are underfunded and teachers are underpaid is indefensible.
Please call Speaker Gunn and Lt. Gov. Hosemann today. Urge them to choose our children and teachers over income tax cuts. Ask your family and friends to call, too. Tuesday is the deadline for the House and Senate Education Committees to pass the teacher pay raise bills from the other chamber, keeping the bills alive so they can be resolved. Your calls today are critical. Together, we’ve got this!