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Politics

START Act passes the house with overwhelming majority

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House Bill 530 the Strategically Accelerating the Recruitment and Retention of Teachers (START) Act, passed the House of Representatives on Wednesday with a 114-6 vote. The bill aims to give raises to every teacher within the state of Mississippi.

There was little discussion on the House floor and the bill sailed smoothly with a vast majority in support of the bill. The six members voting against the bill were Republicans Joel Bomgar, Chris Brown, Dana Criswell, Brady Williamson, Dan Eubanks and Steve Hopkins.

According to mpe.org, The START Act will revise the 2022-2023 minimum salary schedule and include:

  • Provides a pay raise between $4,000-$6,000 to every Mississippi teacher.
  • Increases the base pay for a teacher with a bachelor’s degree from $37,000 to $43,000, a $6,000 increase. Teachers with 0-2 years of experience will continue to receive the same minimum salary with no annual step increases for their first three years of teaching.
  • Decreases some of the step increases for newer teachers.  For example, H.B. 530 provides an annual step increase of $245 to “A” teachers with 4-10 years of experience, rather than the current $495 step increase. Beginning with 11 years of experience, “A” teachers receive the current $495 step increase.
  • Maintains the current $2,060 additional increment for the 25th year of teaching.
  • Provides a $2,000 pay raise for assistant teachers which increases their minimum salary from $15,000 to $17,000.

Teacher’s assistants would also see a raise of $2,000 under this Act.

The bill now heads to the Senate, who has their own version of own plan. Under the Senate proposal, a Class A teacher with a baccalaureate degree would start at $40,000. Teachers would receive $500 step increases at most every year, including in the first three years of teaching.

The Senate proposal would have a 2-year implementation period, where the House bill has a 1-year period.

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