JACKSON, MS (WLBT) - A spring break surprise for Mississippi teachers. A larger-than-expected pay raise proposal by Representative Steve Holland.
“It was the same difference really as nothing to start with,” said Holland.
The Senate’s original proposal he’s referencing was $1,000 over two years, which breaks down to $1.37 a day. But Holland’s proposal upped the amount to $2,000 for the next two years, for a total $4,000.
“I told them all, I said when it hits the floor, I’m going up," noted Holland. "Cause I’m a mountain top man. Not a valley. You’ve got to negotiate from a high place, not a low place. You never win from the low place.”
Representatives approved the amendment that included the higher amount. If the Senate doesn’t agree to the change, it will go to conference, where they’ll try to strike a compromise. The latest revenue report shows the state is bringing in more money than expected. That could impact the final decision.
“I think the revenue coming in at a faster clip, which it has thankfully, certainly opens the door for us doing more than we originally thought we could do,” explained Sen. Joey Fillingane.
The Mississippi Association of Educators believes the voices of teachers through campaigns like Red for Ed are starting to be heard by lawmakers.
“They need not be afraid to be advocates for public schools and for the future of this state,” said President Joyce Helmick.
Helmick says they’d like to see the pay scale changed but believe this latest proposal is a step in the right direction.
“Educators and our public schools are being used as political football," added Helmick. "What we would like to do is see a long term solution to that issue. Fix the problem and then not have this come up every time there’s an election.”