Speaker of the House Philip Gunn today held a press conference at the State Capitol to outline the House Teacher Pay Raise Plan or House Bill 504 (HB504). He was joined in the rotunda by members of the House of Representatives.
During calendar year 2015, HB504 increases the starting salary of teachers by $1,500. This brings Mississippi in line with the Southeastern average. This increase would happen automatically for every teacher in his or her first five years of teaching. Secondly, HB504 establishes 22 benchmarks to help identify the marks of a "good" teacher. These benchmarks identify those teachers who are dedicated to their profession and to our children. Any teacher who satisfies three of the 22 benchmarks would be eligible for a pay increase of $1,500 in calendar year 2015, just like the starting pay increase.
"These benchmarks are easily achievable and can be attained by any teacher who is engaged in the classroom," said Speaker Gunn.
Furthermore, HB504 calls for a $1,350 raise in Year 3, and a $1,400 raise in Year 4. According to Mississippi State Economist Darrin Webb, the growth projections for Mississippi over the next three fiscal years are 4.4 percent in FY16, 4.1 percent in FY17, and 3.7 percent in FY18.
"Our plan places a trigger in these budgets that says that if growth is three percent or better, then the first one percent of growth goes toward teacher pay raises," he continued. "Should this growth occur, it will result in a $1,350 raise in Year 3 and a $1,400 raise in Year 4. The effect of this is that our teachers will have received a $4,200 raise by July 1, 2018."