Local teachers react to teacher pay raise proposal

Senate bill 27-70 proposed a salary increase of $500 dollars per year. For many teachers, that wasn’t enough.
On Monday the house met to amend that bill, proposing a new one that would increase pay to $2000 dollars a year starting in 2020.
News 25’s Andrew Scherer spoke with teachers, and has the story.

Teacher, Donnie Lott says, “They need to shadow teachers across the state. Perhaps if they did that and really understood what we were having to do on a daily basis day in and day out, then they maybe would be a little more empathetic.”
That’s just Donnie Lott’s two-cents on a Mississippi teacher’s salary. Teacher salaries in the state rank among the cheapest in the country, at a little more than 42 thousand dollars.
When asked about their proposed $1000 dollar pay raise over two years, the Harrison County School teacher had this to say:
“Why bother?”
That pay raise equaled out to $41.67 per month.
Laurie Lavender says, “I didn’t think much of it. I knew it wasn’t going to mean a whole lot in the long run, it wouldn’t be very much of an increase per month.”
As teachers in the state continue to make their current salary, more and more teachers are starting to leave. Over the past three years, multiple school district job fairs have popped up.
Lavender says, “We have a thousand openings right now across the state and certain areas they can’t find people regardless of where you are whether its math, science, special ed, it’s difficult.”
Laurie Lavender, who’s also a teacher at Harrison Central, has taught at the school for 26 years. And says despite the low pay, she loves what she does.
“This is my passion, I wouldn’t do anything else. If I won the lottery today, I would still come back and teach, it’s just what I do… I love it,” says Lavender.
Despite that passion, teachers are still hoping for state legislature to follow through with the pay increase.
Lott says, “It’s a step in the right direction, and this is like I said a step, they’re going to have to continue to do this to be able to attract more and more people into the profession.”
The proposal doesn’t necessarily mean a $4000 dollar pay raise is imminent, but an increase is coming.
In Gulfport, Andrew Scherer, News 25.

Categories: Featured, Harrison County, Local News, News

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