Lawmakers approve teacher pay raise bill

Teacher salaries in Mississippi are among the lowest in the country, but they are about to get a bit of a boost after passage of a bill in the state Legislature. 

House Bill 852 would add $1,000 annually to the base salary of teachers and teacher assistants in Mississippi public schools, beginning in the 2021-2022 school year.  

The state House originally passed the bill in February on a 117-3 vote with state Rep. Dana Criswell (R-Olive Branch) among the three who voted against the measure.  

The bill was sent to the state Senate, where it passed with amendments March 4 on a 52-0 vote, requiring the bill to be returned to the House to be considered with the Senate amendments attached. 

The House Thursday, March 18, passed the bill with the amendments on a 119-2 vote, with Criswell joining state Rep. Joel Bomgar (R-Madison) as the two legislators voting against the measure. 

Gov. Tate Reeves has said he would sign the bill, once it reaches his desk.  

According to Business Insider, Mississippi public school teacher salaries rank last in the nation with an average annual paycheck of $45,574. The national average was $61,730 for the 2018-2019 academic year. New York teachers earn nearly $86,000 a year, the most among the United States.

House Bill 852 would add $1,000 to the base salary of public school teachers. The minimum salary for teacher assistants would become $15,100 a year.  

The full text of the bill is found here: https://bit.ly/3c3JafW 

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