Teachers react to possible pay raise


Increasing the pay of teachers is one of many important topics at the 2019 Mississippi legislative session. Teachers here on the Coast are sharing their thoughts on the issue and what this means going forward.

With day two of the 2019 Mississippi legislative session underway, the Coast is reacting to the news of Governor Phil Bryant and Lieutenant Governor Tate Reeves supporting pay raises for teachers this year.

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At Thomas L. Reeves Elementary School, first grade teacher Brianna Barrows has a passion for helping the youth and this could benefit students in her classroom. “It would really allow me to fund the classroom and give my students here what I know they need and deserve.”

Ocean Springs High School biology teacher Nell Driggers was excited to hear the interest from lawmakers and wants the raise to be fully funded by the state instead of being left in the hands of the district. “I often say teaching does not make much of a living, but it makes an incredible life. There’s really no better way to spend a life. I’m very lucky here where it’s not as much of an issue, but in some areas that’s a real concern.”

Driggers touched on other successful countries and how they compensated their educators. With nearly 20 years of teaching experience, she knows changing the pay for teachers could inspire the future. “We need them to inspire and encourage engineers and lawyers and doctors. We are losing our best and our brightest because they have seen that if you have a wonderful work ethic, there is money to be made and a real living to be made from that, but it’s not in education.”