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A day after the state Senate proposed the largest Mississippi teacher pay raise in decades, the House topped it with its own proposal that would increase all teachers by $4,000 to $6,000 a year and boost starting pay above both the Southeastern and national averages.
“This is a long-term solution, not just a one-time raise where you throw $1,000 at teachers,” said House Education Chairman Richard Bennett, author of the bill called the “START Act of 2022.”
The bill, which passed the House Appropriations Committee on Tuesday, will soon be considered by the entire House.
“We’ve worked on this for two years, worked with the (Southern Region Education Board), worked with teachers, looked at other states … This is an historic moment for our students and for our teachers,” Bennett said. “This will make us more competitive with other states and help address our teacher shortage.”
The House plan would increase starting teacher pay from $37,000 a year to $43,125. This would put Mississippi above both the Southeastern average of $39,754 and the national average of $41,163. The Senate’s plan would increase starting pay to $40,000, but would provide substantial increases at five-year intervals throughout a teacher’s career.
“Notably, Alabama and Louisiana, where many Mississippi teachers have moved for higher paying jobs, pay starting salaries of $41,845 and $42,547, respectively,” Bennett said.
READ MORE: Senate leaders unveil historic plan to significantly increase teacher pay
The House plan would cost taxpayers $219 million a year starting next fiscal year, compared to the Senate plan, which would cost $210 million a year after a two-year phase-in. The Senate’s plan includes a year-two, $44 million across-the-board increase of $1,000 per teacher. The House plan includes a $2,000 increase for teachers assistants, who are not included in the Senate plan.
Both plans would “restructure” the teacher salary ladder or “steps” that determine pay for teachers at various levels of experience and training. The House plan would provide more immediate increases ranging from $4,000 to $6,000. The Senate plan after two years would provide an average increase of $4,700, but would provide for larger bumps in pay at each five-year interval in a teacher’s career.
Mississippi’s teacher pay by several metrics are the lowest in the nation. Mississippi public education advocates who watched the unveiling of the dueling teacher pay raise proposals this week said they’ve been pleasantly surprised as they began parsing the plans.
“This sounds like a great start,” said Nancy Loome, director of The Parents’ Campaign. “I would think there could be some sort of compromise, taking the best aspects of both plans — but it is great that there’s a movement to do something substantial … It looks like the House plan is more front-loaded, and the Senate more long-term.”
Kelly Riley, director of the Mississippi Professional Educators, said increasing starting and continuing pay “would make us more competitive, not just for recruiting teachers, but in the classrooms and as a state.”
Bennett said he has not seen all the details of the Senate plan — the bill has not yet been published — but he believes “ours is better.”
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“The Senate plan is spread over two years, while the House plan invests roughly the same amount in just one year,” Bennett said. “Under the Senate plan, some experienced teachers with advanced degrees will see an increase of as little as $5 in year one, and as little as $1,005 over the full two-year phase in … The House plan provides a minimum of $4,000 in one year for all teachers.”
He also said that over 10 years, a new teacher would see thousands less in pay from the Senate plan, and noted that plan does not address teacher assistants’ pay.
Teacher pay is a top issue for this legislative session, with Lt. Gov. Delbert Hosemann, House Speaker Philip Gunn and Gov. Tate Reeves all voicing support for “significant” teacher salary increase this year.
When Bennett presented the plan to the House Appropriations Committee, some members questioned the cost — whether the state could afford such a recurring expense. He said the raise would be paid for with recurring revenue, not “one-time” money will not strain the relatively flush state budget.
Rep. Dan Eubanks, R-Walls, said he’s heard that Mississippi’s state retirement and other benefits are as good or better than surrounding states and questioned why the starting teacher pay should be increased to above the regional and national averages.
“The reason is we are not competitive with other states right now and we’re losing teachers,” Bennett said. “They’re kicking our butts.”
READ MORE: Inside Speaker Philip Gunn and Lt. Gov. Delbert Hosemann’s relationship
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by Geoff Pender, Mississippi Today
January 11, 2022
This <a target=”_blank” href=”https://mississippitoday.org/2022/01/11/house-unveils-their-own-massive-teacher-pay-raise-tops-senate-proposal/”>article</a> first appeared on <a target=”_blank” href=”https://mississippitoday.org”>Mississippi Today</a> and is republished here under a Creative Commons license.<img src=”https://i0.wp.com/mississippitoday.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/01/MT_square-thumb.jpg?fit=150%2C150&ssl=1″ style=”width:1em;height:1em;margin-left:10px;”><img id=”republication-tracker-tool-source” src=”https://mississippitoday.org/?republication-pixel=true&post=1021378&ga=UA-75003810-1″ style=”width:1px;height:1px;”>
Geoff Pender serves as senior political reporter, working closely with Mississippi Today leadership on editorial strategy and investigations. Pender brings 30 years of political and government reporting experience to Mississippi Today. He was political and investigative editor at the Clarion Ledger, where he also penned a popular political column. He previously served as an investigative reporter and political editor at the Sun Herald, where he was a member of the Pulitzer Prize-winning team for Hurricane Katrina coverage. Originally from Florence, Mississippi, Pender is a journalism graduate of the University of Southern Mississippi and has received numerous awards throughout his career for reporting, columns and freedom of information efforts.
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Best Indian Destination to Visit
Goa- Best Indian Destination to Visit
Goa is a state in western India. It is known for its beaches, backwaters, Adventure water Sports, waterfalls, and temples. It is a popular tourist destination due to its laid-back atmosphere, cheap hotels, and world-class restaurants. Palolem Beach, Colva Beach, Agonda Beach, Dudhsagar Falls, Anjuna Market, Church of Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception, Braganza House, Mahadev Temple, Palácio do Deão, Mangeshi Temple, Fontainhas, Bhagwan Mahavir Wildlife Sanctuary, and Reis Magos Fort are famous destination in Goa. And Goa is also know for night life. Enjoy Night clubs, party here . So in Goa you can teste a different culture in Goa.
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Delhi is the national capital of India and home to 1.17 billion people. It’s a city of contrasts where modernity coexists with ancient history. From the busy streets to the quiet temples, Delhi offers something for everyone. Red Fort, Jama Masjid, Qutub Minar, Lotus Temple, Aksherdham, Zoo, Old Fort, India Gate, Humayun Tomb are some of best Destination to visit. Apart form these You can visit:- Lajpat Nagar, sarojini Nagar, Janpath and Jama Masjid are the best Shopping Places in delhi. And in delhi you can find out best street foods menu in veg and non veg dishes.
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Agra is a major city of Uttar Pradesh, and a major tourist attraction is located in Agra call as “ The Taj Mahal”. You can Expericne the art of Mughal empire in agra. ALso this is one of the places to visit near delhi within 200 kms. Beyond Taj Mahal You Can Visit These Places That Are Near Or In Agra. These places are Agra Fort, Sikandra, Fatehpur Sikri, Dayal Bagh Temple, Bateshwar Temple, Chini Ka Rauza, Keetham Lake, Mathura, and vrindavan. Mathura and vrindavan are close to agra about 70 Kms far. These are Hindu holy places.
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Jaipur is the capital of the Indian state of Rajasthan. It alludes to the royal dynasty that once ruled the region and built the Old City, also known as the “Pink City” because of its distinctive building colour, in 1727. In the heart of a grand, colonnaded area lies the City Palace complex. Gardens, courtyards and museums still exist today as part of its royal house. Hawa Mahal, Jainivas Garden, City Palace, Amber Palace at Jantar Mantar, Samode, Light and Sound Show, Nahargarh Fort, Jaigarh Fort, Jal Mahal, Galtaji are some of the best places in Jaipur.
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Kashmir Valley is one of the top tourist destinations in India. Apart from its apple orchards, flower gardens and other attractions, Kashmir is famous for its natural beauty. With its distinctive handicrafts and famous Kashmiri shawls, it attracts tourists. The most popular tourist destinations in Jammu and Kashmir are Srinagar, Mughal Gardens, Gulmarg, Pahalgam, Patnitop and Jammu. Many Hindu pilgrims visit Vaishno Devi and Amarnath every year, which has a significant impact on the state’s economy.
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Manali is a city in Himachal Pradesh, India. It is one of the top ski resorts in India. It is famous for its beautiful surroundings, favorable climate and extensive cultural history. It is a popular travel destination in India and attracts visitors from all over the world.
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The Andaman Islands are an Indian island chain in the Bay of Bengal. And Due to the increasing popularity of beaches and adventure sports like snorkeling and sea walking, tourism to the Andaman and Nicobar Islands is on the rise. Long Island, Havelock Island, Little Andaman Island, Diglipur, Parrot Island, Bharatpur Beach, Samudrika Marine Museum, Cellular Jail, Lamiya Bay Beach are some of the best spots to visit in Andaman and Nichobar. Indian tourists do not require a visa to visit the Andaman Islands, but if they wish to visit any tribal area, they require special authorization from the Deputy Commissioner at Port Blair. Foreign nationals require a permit. This clearance is given to foreign nationals coming by air on arrival at Port Blair. This can be a best Indian destination to visit.