(AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis - Oct 31, 2015)

Governor Tate Reeves said last week that Mississippi is getting the job done for quality education.

The same week that Mississippi Governor Tate Reeves signed the historic teacher pay raise legislation into law, lawmakers passed Senate Bills 2422 and 2430 providing additional assistance to teachers and school leaders.

Senate Bill 2422 will ensure teachers receive classroom supply fund cards before the school year begins each year, no later than August 1. The legislation states that the cards will not expire before April 1, which allows teachers to use the cards throughout the school year.

“Teachers have shared with me and our senators that they receive classroom supply money late in the semester, which hinders their ability to plan and purchase what they need for instruction before school begins,” Lt. Governor Delbert Hosemann said. “We included deadlines in this bill to prevent this from happening in the future.”

Senate Bill 2430 will create a revolving no-interest loan program for public school buildings. Public schools may receive up to $1 million in one fiscal year for maintenance on existing buildings.

“This fund is intended to help school districts put a new roof on a leaky building without having to go through the bond issue process or using other funds intended for instruction or programming,” Hosemann said.

Both SB 2422 and 2430 were authored by State Senator Dennis DeBar (R), chairman of the Senate Education Committee, who was a leader in authoring the historic teacher pay raise legislation.

“Senate Education Chairman Dennis DeBar developed this plan with the input of countless teachers with whom he met during the fall,” Lt. Governor Hosemann said in March. “We appreciate Representatives McCarty, Felsher, and Owen meeting with Senators DeBar, Bryan, and Hopson to finalize the bill and move it to the Governor’s desk.”

At the teacher pay raise signing last week, Governor Tate Reeves said Mississippi is getting the job done for quality education.

“When it comes to delivering a quality education for our kids, we are getting the job done,” said Governor Reeves on Thursday. “These pay raises will help cement Mississippi’s competitive footing to not only incentivize educators to stay in our state, but also to proactively recruit people to move here and teach in our communities. This legislation is a stake in the ground that proudly declares Mississippi’s enduring commitment to supporting our educators and our education system, and I am ecstatic to sign it into law.”

On Thursday, Speaker of the House Philip Gunn (R) applauded House Education Chairman Richard Bennett (R), along with Representatives Kent McCarty (R), Kevin Felsher (R) and Jansen Owen (R). 

“They worked tirelessly for more than a year developing a teacher pay plan targeted at tackling Mississippi’s teacher shortage while providing a historic investment in our state’s public education,” Gunn said.