Legislative Update | March 11-15, 2019

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Teacher Pay Raise | SB 2770, the teacher pay raise bill, is currently on the Senate calendar. Prior to its return to the Senate, Representatives Steve Holland, John Hines, and Orlando Paden submitted an amendment to increase the pay raise from $1000 to $4000. That raise would be split over two years and would see all certified teachers’ salaries increase by $4000. Assistant teachers would still see a $1000 pay raise.

The bill has a reverse repealer attached to it—a provision that will send the bill to conference committee instead of to the Senate floor. This means that the Lieutenant Governor and the Speaker of the House will pick three members from their respective chambers to a committee that will deliberate on the final number for this critically-needed pay raise. Alarmingly, those deliberations will take place behind closed doors.

We have to assume that, based on state leadership’s previous public comments and votes, they will stack the committee with senators and representatives who will lower the $4000 substantially—potentially back down to the bill’s original $1000. We know they do not want to commit to a substantial pay raise for educators.

The fight is still on!

We must keep applying pressure to legislators and state leaders.  A teacher pay raise that moves us closer to the Southeastern average is a critical piece in addressing our state’s teacher shortage crisis. Mississippi’s teachers and students deserve better. We simply can’t afford to keep losing teachers to neighboring states.

Call your legislators and use your teacher voice!

CNN Town Hall with Senator Elizabeth Warren| MAE members have been invited to attend and participate in a CNN town hall in Jackson featuring Democratic candidate for president, Sen. Elizabeth Warren. The town hall will take place at Jackson State University on Monday, March 18 at 8:30pm, and will be moderated by CNN’s Jake Tapper.

If you’re interested in attending the town hall, you can register here.

If you’re interested in attending the town hall and would like to ask Sen. Warren a question, you can register and submit a question here.

Red For Ed | We’re amazed by the incredible Red for Ed participation we’ve seen from all across the state. Join us in continuing to show solidarity by wearing red on Wednesdays until a meaningful teacher pay raise is signed into law. And, if you’re joining us in Jackson for the town hall, be sure to wear your Red for Ed! Don’t forget to share those photos of you and your colleagues across all social media platforms using the #RedForEdMS.

Finally, thank you for advocating for yourselves and your students, using your teacher voice, and refusing to back down over the long course of this pay raise fight. The voice of educators from across Mississippi has been heard loud and clear throughout the Capitol this session, and it’s a direct result of your advocacy efforts and hard work.