Governor Reeves signs largest-ever teacher pay raise into law

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After years of waiting, the promised pay raise for Mississippi teachers has become a reality as Governor Tate Reeves signed the “START Act of 2022” (HB 530) into law on Thursday afternoon.

The bill will distribute over $246 million to Mississippi public school teachers, making it the largest teacher pay raise bill in state history.

Although the START Act highlights raising the base teacher salary by an average of $5,140, it also contains several types of raises over a specific amount of time depending on the teacher.

Here are some additional characteristics of the bill:

  • Provide extra pay bumps at five-year intervals. At years 5, 10, 15, and 20, teachers would receive raises based on their level of education. Class A teachers (baccalaureate) would receive $1,325, Class AA teachers (master’s degree) would receive $1,525, Class AAA (specialist) would receive $1,525, and Class AAAA (doctoral) would receive $1,625.
  • At 25 years of service, teachers would receive a pay increase of $2,500.
  • Provide a raise of $2,000 to teacher assistants.

The START Act also addresses the low starting pay and teacher assistant salaries, raising the starting pay from $37,000 to $41,500 and increasing teacher assistants’ pay by $2,000 over two years.

Currently, Mississippi teachers receive the lowest pay in the nation at an average of $46,843, while the national teacher salary sits at $64,133 according to the Southern Regional Education Board.

Mississippi also falls behind in local numbers, as the average teacher pay in the 16 surrounding southern regional states is $55,205.

These specific changes came from the combination of two bills proposed by both the House and Senate earlier this month, with the expected effective date set for July 1.

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