Mississippi legislators this regular session get an “A” grade for increasing the salaries of experienced teachers, but any gains they hoped in retaining teachers could be dashed by failing to provide other raises.
Mississippi has been plagued by the national teacher shortage, made worse by low state teacher salaries that can’t compete nationally, and even drag in the region.
In 2000, Mississippi lawmakers sought to begin to raise teachers’ pay to the Southeastern average, with an incremental plan through 2005. But they failed to keep up.
The average salary is $40,594 – well short of the 2007 Southern regional average of $45,662 and abysmally shy of the $50,816 national average for 2007.