Rankin School Board signs off on tax increase for teacher raises

The Rankin County School Board has approved a raise for teachers in the district of $1,300, nearly matching the statewide $1,500 teacher pay raise.

This raise in taxes for salaries is the second since 2001, according to the Clarion-Ledger. Last year, teachers received a $500 raise. This puts teachers in the district at making $3,300 more than they were two years ago.

The hike will cover roughly $2.5 million needed to provide the raises and additional law enforcement at the schools.

“The state put into place a $1,500 per teacher pay increase for this year, and on top of that, our district has chosen to give another increase to teachers for a local supplement of $1,300 per teacher,” said Melissa Barnes, the school district’s chief financial officer.

A district spokesperson told the Clarion-Ledger that the salary increase was to keep the pay competitive as the state suffers a teacher shortage.

Two years ago, Rankin county residents approved a bond issue of $178.5 million for the schools, which called for a $50 a year tax increase.

This current measure to cover the raises comes out to an additional $40 a year per $200,000 home.

There are 27 schools in the Rankin County School District, divided into 8 zones: Brandon Zone, Florence Zone, McLaurin Zone, Northwest Rankin Zone, Pelahatchie Zone, Pisgah Zone, Puckett Zone, and Richland Zone.