The Mississippi Senate has unanimously passed the teacher pay raise bill.
With no dissenting votes, the bill aiming to raise the starting salary for Mississippi teachers from $35,890 to $37,000 and provide a $1,000 raise to current teachers will now be sent to the House of Representatives.
SB 2001, authored by Senate Education Committee Chairman Dennis Debar, would also raise the starting salary for assistant teachers to $15,000. Debar recently explained that, even with the raise, Mississippi would remain below the regional average of $44,000.
“We’re still going to be below the southern average, but if we can slowly increase it as we plan to do, we’ll be getting close…If we can get it up to over $40,000 in the next few years, that would be a good start,” he said.
Debar also explained that the cost of the bill comes out to roughly $50 million.
A similar bill passed through the Senate in 2020 before the pandemic caused budget cuts across the board, taking the potential for a teacher pay raise off the table.