Mississippi lawmakers considering pay raises for teachers
HATTIESBURG, MISS. – Four more weeks left until lawmakers meet in Jackson for the 2019 legislative session and one topic expected to be discussed will be teacher pay raises, after Gov. Phil Bryant recommended a $50 million teacher pay raise.
According to the U.S. News and World Report, Mississippi finishes as the 5th worst state when it comes to education.
“Historically, Mississippi has very low educational outcomes compared to the rest of the country,” Mississippi State Senator Dist. 41, Joey Fillingane said. “Hopefully, we can do something along the lines of a teacher pay raise moving into this upcoming school year.” Fillingane gives credit to Mississippi’s growing economy as a possible reason why teachers could see an increase in their paystubs next year. “We also want to encourage good people to go into education as well,” Fillingane said. “So, not only is it attracting [teachers], but it’s also retaining the best-qualified teachers.” According to Fillingane, this could help the state get the best teachers available and as a result, education in Mississippi could begin to sky-rocket. “I think that the increase dollars that we have been spending in the education budgets, which we increased over the past four to eight years… certainly contributed to improving the economic and educational outlook for the state,” Fillingane said. If Mississippi approves teacher pay raises, this will be the state’s first “across-the-board” teacher pay raise in the last ten plus years, and it would possibly benefit nearly 30,000 educators. In November, Gov. Phil Bryant published his recommended budget, which included a $50 million pay raise for teachers over the next two years.