February 1, 2018
2018 Legislative Agenda
The MAE government relations team leads the association’s legislative efforts by advocating for all public school programs and services that we deem necessary to ensure great public schools for every student in Mississippi. As its ongoing, overarching focus, the Mississippi Association of Educators advocates for full and early funding of the Mississippi Adequate Education Program (MAEP).
LEGISLATIVE PRIORITIES FOR THE 2018 SESSION
ACQUIRE TEACHER AND SUPPORT STAFF SALARY INCREASES
- Establish $40,000 starting salary through a progressive plan
- Achieve salary schedule equal to the Southeastern Average
- Attain a stepped salary increase of $1,000 over five years for assistant teachers
- Secure a living wage for education support professionals
WHY? Mississippi’s teacher shortage is at crisis level, and providing adequate and reasonable salaries to educators will help fill the need for professional educators and support staff in every classroom in Mississippi.
SECURE COMPULSORY KINDERGARTEN
- Require compulsory kindergarten attendance for qualified students
- Include kindergarten students in ADA counts
- Change student 5 year-old qualifying birthdate to August 1
WHY? We believe that early childhood development and learning gives children the solid foundation they will need to succeed to their highest potential. Educators agree that changing the birth-date will provide a more homogeneous age group for the classes.
RECOGNIZE TEACHERS’ CONTROL OVER THEIR PAYCHECKS
- Eliminate the discriminatory ban on teachers’ automatic dues deduction
WHY? Every other employee of state or local government in the State of Mississippi has the right to have association dues deducted automatically from their paychecks. To prohibit teachers from equal treatment is discriminatory.
RESPECT NON-CERTIFIED CLASSROOM PERSONNEL’S WORKERS RIGHTS
- Provide an employment contract for non-certified classroom personnel.
WHY? Assistant Teachers are under accountability standards, just like certified classroom personnel who enjoy working under contract. Assistant Teachers deserve the due process rights that come with a contract.
OFFER COMMUNITY COLLEGE TEACHERS SALARIES THAT ARE SUITABLE FOR THEIR POSITIONS.
- Raise Community College salaries to the mid-point of K-12 salaries
- Increase four-year teacher salaries to the Southeastern Average
WHY? Recruiting and retaining quality, professional teachers is necessary for community college students to achieve their fullest potential. Salaries for these individuals must be comparable to those of contiguous states.