Teacher pay raises
A Mississippi House committee this week passed a bill that would raise teacher pay by $500 for each of the next two school years.
If the proposal becomes law, the starting pay for a teacher with a bachelor’s degree would increase by $1,000, to $35,390 in 2020.
Lawmakers ought to amend this bill in the coming weeks to make that raise at least $1,000 per year. That might make crafting a budget a little more difficult, but it would more directly confront the state’s problem in recruiting qualified teachers. Mississippi loses many of them to other states that pay more.
In fact, the very same bill highlights this manpower problem. It would allow former teachers to return to class at a reduced rate of pay while still receiving retirement benefits.