The state Senate today passed a pay hike for teachers, teacher assistants, librarians, and counselors. More than 35,000 educators would see another $1,000 if the bill becomes law.

The average teacher salary in Mississippi is $44,925, according to the Mississippi Department of Education.

“Over the past eight years, we have targeted the investment of tax dollars into the classroom,” Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves said. “This bill spends about $51 million on teachers and other personnel who help educate Mississippi children. With this law, a teacher who worked in the classroom in 2012 will make almost $8,000 more per year by 2020.”

Senate Bill 2770, by Senate Education Chairman Gray Tollison, R-Oxford, heads to the House for consideration.

Lt. Gov. Reeves said in September 2018 he wanted to direct an estimated $50 million in savings from the Medicaid program into Mississippi classrooms. Since 2014, Mississippi taxpayers have invested an additional $350 million in teacher pay raises. The popular School Recognition Program has resulted in an additional $41.8 million awarded to teachers for their work in the classroom.