Mississippi teachers get pay raises
JACKSON, Miss. (WDAM) - Teachers across Mississippi are hard at work preparing for the coming school year. This year, they’ll be getting pay raises.
Assistant teachers and certified teachers with more than three years of experience will get a raise of $1,000. Teachers with three years of experience or less will get a raise of $1,100.
Armendia Hulsey has been teaching seventh grade social studies for two years in the Hattiesburg Public School District. She says her career choice was never about the paycheck.
“Well, education is one of those fields that you don’t go into for the money. You’re here for the kids, for your students,” Hulsey said.
At the same time, she agrees the salary increase is much needed.
“We all go into it knowing that, but anything that can come down through the pipeline to us, we’re all aware of it, and we’re all encouraged by it, because a large chunk of our salary does get reinvested into our classrooms and into your students,” said Hulsey.
In addition to the raises, the base teacher salary in the Magnolia State is now $37,000.
“I think it definitely makes us feel a little bit more appreciated. It kind of is the first step in revitalizing Mississippi’s teaching profession and growing our industry,” Hulsey said. “We go to graduate school and post-graduate simply so we can try and get a little bit of a pay increase, so it’s definitely something that’s constantly talked about within teacher circles and when’s the next legislation going to come down the pipeline type thing.”
Hulsey said at the end of the day, it really is all about what’s best for the kids, and teacher funding is an important aspect.
“We care about them and we love them so much, so anything that is positive for teachers is positive for your students. I encourage legislators to keep that in mind.”
According to the National Education Association, the average teacher salary in the U.S. for 2019-2020 was $62,355. In Mississippi, the average was $46,843, ranking the state 51st in the country regarding teacher pay.
The teacher pay raise bill officially went into effect on July 1.
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