Teacher pay raise clears Legislature

The Legislature has passed a teacher pay raise of $2,500 over two years and an increase in starting teachers’ pay.

Lawmakers on Tuesday passed House Bill 504 after weeks of debate and negotiation. The bill passed the House 117-2 and unanimously in the Senate.

House leaders, who had first proposed a $4,250, four-year teacher raise this year, essentially agreed to the Senate’s plan. House Speaker Philip Gunn said, “We have gone back and forth with the Senate. They were unwilling to go beyond $2,500 over two years.”

“As I stated before the session started, House Republicans wanted to give teachers a pay raise,” Gunn said. “It has taken a lot of hard work, but I am proud to say we have accomplished our goal.”

Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves said: “I agree with Speaker Gunn on the importance of rewarding Mississippi teachers for their dedication to educating children and appreciate his leadership on this issue.”

The plan includes:

• $1,500 starting July 1, 2014.

• $1,000 starting July 1, 2015.

• Raising starting pay from $30,900 to $34,390 by July 2015

Clarion Ledger