Teacher Pay Raise Bill Headed to Conference (3/20/19)
Wednesday, March 20, 2019
Posted by: Kelly Riley
As we shared last week, the Mississippi House of Representatives amended SB 2770, the teacher pay raise bill, to provide a $4,000 teacher pay raise over the next two years, rather than the $1,000 raise proposed by the Senate. Unfortunately, as passed the House, SB 2770 contains a reverse repealer (i.e., the bill is repealed before it goes into effect), which means the bill must go to conference. The Senate voted to invite conference on the bill yesterday.
A conference committee comprised of three representatives and three senators will now negotiate a final version of the bill – including the final amount of the pay raise - to be considered by both chambers. Neither the House nor the Senate had named conferees as of 6:00 p.m. tonight. If the Senate does as it did last year, conferees will complete their negotiations and file a conference report before they are announced and posted on the legislative website. MPE will share conferees on this Facebook page, as well as on our Twitter account, as soon as possible once conferees are announced.
The legislative leadership has indicated that legislators will wrap up this session and go home early next week, so all final legislation will be acted upon by that time. This means that the next few days are critical. If you have not contacted your senator and representative to share your thoughts on the proposed pay raise, the TIME TO DO SO IS NOW! If you have contacted them, do so again and remind them that you are watching their vote. As we shared last week, absent significant action from the legislature, the gap between Mississippi’s average teacher pay and that of our neighboring states will be much wider in the near future which will only exacerbate our state’s teacher shortage.
You may call the capitol switchboard (601-359-3770) to leave a message for your senator and representative. If you are unsure who represents you, The Parents’ Campaign has a great listing of legislators by school district. You may call 601-359-3200 to share your thoughts with Lt. Governor Reeves and 601-359-3300 to reach Speaker Gunn’s office.