The Mississippi Senate continued to work through the committee process last week. Of note, the Senate passed Senate Bill 2444, a public-school teacher pay bill that in the second year would increase base salaries from $37,000 to $40,000 for those holding Class A bachelor’s degrees. This bill would provide an average pay raise of almost $4,800 with the inclusion of the increase approved in 2021.
The $210 million Senate pay plan not only focused on teachers but also included the following:
• It removes the cap on the number of National Board-certified school nurses who can receive the $6,000 supplement which is currently capped at 35 statewide.
• It removes the cap on National Board-certified speech pathologists and audiologists to receive the $6,000 annual supplement which is currently capped at 20 statewide.
• It allows National Board-certified athletic trainers to receive the $6,000 annual supplement.
The bill further establishes pay increases throughout a teachers’ career.
For example, at years 5, 10, 15 and 20, teachers would receive the following raises.
• Class A - Bachelor’s degree - $1,325.
• Class AA - Master’s Degree - $1,425.
• Class AAA - Specialist degree - $1,525.
• Class AAAA - PhD - $1,625.
The measure passed the Senate with resounding support.
Of note, the Senate also took up Senate Bill 2113 that would ban any teachings that would “affirm that any sex, race, ethnicity, religion or national origin is inherently superior, or that individuals should be adversely treated based on such characteristics.” The bill further aims to provide that no distinction or classification of students shall be made on account of race other than the required collection or reporting of demographic information.
Lastly, your Senate continues to work through the committee process as the next deadline is set for February 1st. Many tough decisions loom on the horizon and I encourage you to contact your legislator if you have any concerns. As always, I appreciate being able to serve you.