Legislature Passes Teacher Pay Raise, Increases Funds for State Board of Education Priorities
The Mississippi Legislature made significant investments in public education during the 2021 legislative session including a statewide teacher pay raise and millions allocated for Mississippi State Board of Education priorities including early childhood education, instructional coaches, teacher supply funds and the Mississippi Student Information System (MSIS).
Mississippi teachers early in their careers will receive a $1,100 raise in the new school year and all other teachers and teachers’ assistants will receive a $1,000 pay increase.
Funds for the state’s Early Learning Collaboratives doubled to $16 million, which will serve approximately 6,000 pre-K children.
Lawmakers funded new instructional coaches, allocating $5 million for math coaches and $1.5 million for early childhood education coaches. The new coaches will bolster Mississippi’s team of Literacy-Based Promotion Act (LBPA)-funded literacy coaches, who help teachers statewide become more effective teachers of reading. Since the passage of the LBPA in 2013, Mississippi has become the No. 1 state in the nation for gains in reading.
Other public education allocations include $20 million for the teacher supply fund, up from $12 million the previous year, and $7.6 million to modernize MSIS. Teacher supply funds go directly to teachers to buy classroom materials. Funding for MSIS, created in the 1990s, will update the system for the modern technological era.
“Students and teachers statewide will benefit from these new investments that advance the State Board of Education’s goals,” said Dr. Carey Wright, state superintendent of education. “The state has put in place proven strategies that have significantly improved student achievement, and these investments will help students and teachers build upon their successes.”
The State Board Strategic Plan prioritize access to high-quality early childhood education, data-driven decision making, student growth and achievement, all students having effective teachers, leaders and schools, and all students graduating prepared for college and career.
“Mississippi students and teachers deserve all the support the state is able to provide so they can continue making historic gains,” said House Education Committee Chairman Richard Bennett.
The legislature also allocated $1 million to help districts pay for advanced learning assessments including Advanced Placement and the ACT WorkKeys, and $1 million for career and technical education grants to districts.
“Our additional investments in public education will support teachers and have a direct impact on student learning in the classroom,” said Senate Education Committee Chairman Dennis DeBar.