Mississippi teachers lowest paid in nation - FOX13 News, WHBQ FOX 13

Mississippi teachers lowest paid in nation

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SOUTHAVEN, Miss. (FOX13) -

Mississippi teachers are among the lowest paid teachers in the country.

The last time Mississippi teachers received a pay raise was in 2007, six years ago, with a starting salary around $36,000 a year. The only state with lower pay than Mississippi is South Dakota.  

"That's ridiculous! That's very ridiculous! Along with the police officers and firemen and teachers, they should have a higher salary than most people because they are where the rubber meets the road, and they make the difference."

But a bill in the Magnolia State Legislature would give teachers at least a $5,000 per year pay raise. There are questions if the bill will even make it through Senate chambers in Jackson, and whether the money is there, but you have to do the math.

Some say if you don't pay, you can't compete when it comes to education.

"I think they should pay them more money and give them good benefits."
If you do the math, there are 33,000 teachers in the Magnolia State. At $5,000 each, that comes out to about $165 million.

"I don't know where the money is going to come from."

"We pay more for a lot of other things that's not educating our children. It's worth the investment."

There are some who say not so fast. Maybe not all teachers should get a raise.
"I would say yes, but there needs to be somebody checking on the teachers to see if they are doing the job they are supposed to be doing. I have no problem with teachers making more money, but in some schools they are not doing the job they are supposed to be doing."

Legislative supporters say the pay increase is more than justified. The bill it is attached to calls for teacher retention and attracting new teachers to the state.
"That's a wonderful and excellent idea, and yes we need to pay our teachers more to educate our children."

Just a thought for Mississippi senators: if the teacher pay raise doesn't pass, most teachers vote in blocks, they vote in big groups for  for those who support them.

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