Legislative Update: $1,500 Pay Raise Passed
Thursday, March 28, 2019
Posted by: Kelly Riley
The conference report for SB 2770 was filed late last night. Both chambers took it up quickly this morning and passed it. Motions were made in both chambers to recommit the conference report back to the conference committee in an attempt to increase the raise to $4,000 over 2 years, but these attempts failed. Click here to see the Senate vote and click here to see the House vote on those motions to reconsider. A low point of debate was when Senate Education Chairman Gray Tollison, who was handling the conference report on the Senate floor, urged his fellow senators to vote against the motion to recommit so legislators could end the session and “get out of here today.”
After these motions failed, the conference report passed in each chamber. SB 2770 provides a $1,500 pay raise for teachers via increases to the steps of the salary schedule. It also provides a $1,500 raise for teacher assistants, increasing their base pay from $12,500 to $14,000.
As adopted earlier today, SB 2770 does not contain any voucher language. MPE wants to thank House Education Committee Chairman Richard Bennett and Vice Chairman Rob Roberson for standing up to the Senate leadership’s push to add voucher language to the conference report. Chairman Bennett was adamant that vouchers would not be in the final bill and we appreciate his commitment and leadership in this area.
SB 2770 also adds Holmes, Yazoo and Tallahatchie counties to the list of qualified counties where National Board Certified Teachers may teach and receive an annual salary supplement of $4,000 in addition to their regular NBCT salary supplement.
Legislators in both chambers also passed HB 1643, the K-12 appropriation bill today. It appears as if the MAEP will be underfunded by approximately $250 million, but we will confirm this once we receive MDE’s estimate. Among other provisions, HB 1643 provides level funding ($12 million) for classroom supplies, an additional $50,000 for the Teacher Corp, an additional $100,000 for our World Class Teaching Programs, and an additional $169,880 for the state’s Early Childhood Education Initiative.
Thanks to all who called and/or emailed your legislators regarding the proposed $4,000 pay raise. While the $1,500 raise will not enable Mississippi to compete with surrounding states in the recruitment and retention of teachers, educators throughout the state have been engaged in the process. It is now important that educators hold their legislators accountable for their votes on this issue.
Both chambers should adjourn Sine Die tomorrow and the 2019 Legislative Session will be concluded.