Miss. teacher pay plan calls for third-year merit raises - FOX13 News, WHBQ FOX 13

Miss. teacher pay plan calls for third-year merit raises

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    Friday, October 4 2013 3:43 PM EDT2013-10-04 19:43:45 GMT
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TUPELO, Miss. (FOX13) -

Pay raises for Mississippi public school teachers are close to becoming law.

The full House and Senate passed House Bill 504 Tuesday, sending it to Gov. Phil Bryant for his consideration.

The plan calls for teachers to get two across-the-board pay raises worth $2,500 and then be eligible for merit payments in 2016-2017.

House and Senate negotiators agreed to the plan Monday.

It's not a big raise and it's not going to bump Mississippi teachers up to even the middle of the pack, but some in the Magnolia State are hoping it's the start of something.

"It's well deserved, for teachers to educate our students and to put up with the things they have to put up with and to be denied a raise for that long," said Russell Brooks of Shannon. "I think it's well deserved for teachers to get a pay raise."

The bill includes a $1,500 raise that would begin July 1, and a $1,000 raise that would follow in the budget year beginning in 2015.

The third year would give $100 per student to schools rating "A'' on the state's A-to-F grading system, or to schools advancing a grade. Schools rated "B'' would get $75 per student. Money would go to merit payments for all teachers and employees.

"Well you have to give teachers an incentive they are dealing with something very precious in our life, our children," said Mary Hollis of Tupelo. "So I think they deserve all they can get it should be a top paying job."

The raise doesn't even put state teachers near the national average in pay. It would take a $10,000 pay raise across the board to do that.
 
"I hope this is just the beginning and that later on they can plan in more or a budget increase," Hollis said. "But one thing about it, it's a start and it beats nothing."

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Jeff Amy of the Associated Press contributed to this report.

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