February 6, 2019
Yesterday Lieutenant Governor Tate Reeves tweeted that a teacher who was working in 2012 will have seen $8,000 added to their paycheck by the time his term ends later this year. That math sounded a little fuzzy to us so we decided to take it to the chalkboard.
The starting teacher salary was $30,900 in 2012. In 2018, the starting teacher salary was 34,390. That’s a difference of $3,490. If SB 2770, the bill touted by Lieutenant Governor Reeves, were to be signed into law as is, that would mean an additional $1,000 over the next two years. That puts us at $4,490 which, last we checked, is not $8,000. That $1,000? That’s just slightly above the cost of living adjustment for 2019.
Now, if HB 1349’s proposed teacher pay raise were signed into law as written—no, wait. That bill’s pay raise calls for $2,000. That would put us at just $5,490, which is also not $8,000.
The bottom line: It’s disingenuous for the Lieutenant Governor to take credit for a teacher’s experience and commitment to the profession, which is why step increases are NOT reflected in our numbers—nor should they be in his.
Maybe it’s the teacher in us, but we’re afraid we have to ask: Lieutenant Governor, please #ShowYourWork.