Mississippi educators to receive thousands in pay raise

Mississippi educators received big news this week.

STARKVILLE,Miss. (WCBI)- Lawmakers passed the largest teacher pay raise in state history this week.

Dozens of educators will get at least $5,000 on their salary.

Several educators have left Mississippi for increased salaries in neighboring states like Georgia, Arkansas, or Texas.

When it comes to retention and combating brain drain, they’re hopeful the bill will keep more teachers in the classroom.

Mississippi educators received big news this week.

And it’s something they’ve been waiting for a long time in the making.

That’s right–a higher paying salary.

” I’m glad that our leaders finally recognize our hard work. It’s overdue, but it’s also appreciated. We’re not just educators. We inspire, and we motivate, and we uplift. It means a lot to us. It gives us our worth and value back,” said Jessica Glass.

On Tuesday, lawmakers passed the largest teacher pay raise in state history.

All educators will get $5,000 and teacher’s assistants will get $2,000.

Isabella Mclemore is a first-grade teacher at Sudduth Elementary in Starkville.

” I have been watching this and waiting for it to play out. Legislators decided to do it not only to put more money in our pocket, but they’re valuing education. Teachers do spend a lot of personal money on things for kids. It’s special projects that we do and you need to go to the grocery store to buy things,” said McLemore.

Fifth-grade teacher Claretha Hill says the biggest issue is keeping teachers in the Magnolia State.

” We’ve lost a lot of gifted and highly qualified teachers because of the pay. We’ll be able to draw in some teachers that can collaborate and help us grow our students to their highest potential,” said Hill.

” I think it’ll help people want to stay in Mississippi because they can live off of their wage more. I remember when I started 15 years ago. As a first-year teacher, I made $30,000,” said McLemore.

Shaye Howell is in her second year as a teacher. Howell is hopeful enrollment numbers for teaching programs will increase. And, will have a larger draw to the education.

” I think they as we stay here over the next couple of years, as we study recruitment and retention. There are opportunities in those new pay scales for those yearly raises,” said Shaye Howell.

“We do this because we love the kids, and we are called to do this, and we have a purpose for it. There’s never going to be the perfect amount, but this is the step forward, and we do appreciate that,” said Glass.

The final step to House Bill 530 is Governor Tate Reeve’s signature.

The teacher pay raise will be effective in the 2022-2023 school year.

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