Mississippi teachers may soon see an additional $1,000 in their annual salaries.
The Mississippi Senate unanimously passed a bill today to increase the salaries of public school teachers, bringing the starting salary to $37,000. Assistant teachers would also get the raise under the bill, increasing their starting salaries to $15,000.
The raise falls short of Gov. Tate Reeves suggested raise of $1,500 annually for this legislative session.
Lawmakers say the raise is a good step on the way to bringing Mississippi teacher’s pay in line with the national average of $60,483 or at least to the Southeast average of around $51,000. As of the 2017-2018 academic year, teachers in the Magnolia State had the lowest average salaries in the nation at $43,107, according to Business Insider.
During last year’s session, the state legislature voted to increase teacher pay by $1,500 annually, and many lawmakers campaigned last year to further increase teacher salaries to make Mississippi competitive in attracting and keeping good teachers.
The bill now goes to the state House of Representatives.