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Mississippi House Approves $4,000-$6,000 Pay Raise For Teachers

a photo of the board showing which lawmakers voted for and which voted against the teacher pay raise act
Mississippi House lawmakers approved the START Act pay raise legislation for teachers by a vote of 114-to-6. Photo courtesy Rep. Tom Miles, D-Forest

Public school teachers would gain pay bumps ranging from $4,000 to $6,000 under a plan Mississippi House lawmakers overwhelmingly approved Wednesday afternoon. The legislation, known as the Strategically Accelerating the Recruitment And Retention Of Teachers (START) Act, passed on a vote of 114-to-6.

Starting pay for teachers with a bachelor’s degree would increase from the current level of $37,000 to $43,125—higher than the southeast regional average of $39,897 and the nation average of $41,163. Mississippi currently ranks last nationwide and in the region for teacher pay. The bill also includes $2,000 raises for teacher’s assistants, who currently earn just $15,000 a year.

The bill will still have to earn approval in the Mississippi Senate and the governor’s signature to become law. The Senate has proposed a separate plan with smaller upfront raises but which incorporates significant increases over time.

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