Lawmakers discuss statewide teacher shortage - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Lawmakers discuss statewide teacher shortage

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JACKSON, MS (Mississippi News Now) -

Lawmakers are meeting at the State Capitol at 10 a.m. Thursday to discuss the statewide teacher shortage.

Senator Gray Tollison, the Chairman of the Senate Education Committee said there are at least 1,000 teacher vacancies statewide. The Senator said one idea the teacher shortage task force is looking into to recruit educators comes from a model out of North Carolina. High school seniors there are recruited as education majors and in return the state pays for their tuition.

The task force is also looking into raising teachers' salaries. Officials with the Mississippi Association of Educators said Mississippi ranks last in the southeast and last among the contiguous states in teacher pay and the gap is widening. MAE officials said teachers are going to surrounding states to work because bordering states pay $4,500 to $8,500 more in average teacher salaries compared to Mississippi.

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