Governor Reassures Superintendents About Teacher Pay Raises

Gov. Ronnie Musgrove says Mississippi should not miss the opportunity to get this into law and make it final. That opportunity is to raise teachers' pay, something Gov. Musgrove says is long overdue.

The governor says we need to make sure that education is a priority and make teacher pay closer to the Southeastern average. He says we need to do it without any conditions, and we need to guarantee it.

On Monday, state lawmakers will consider the Governor's request to repeal a law that ties teacher pay with 5 percent economic growth. The Governor says the session should go on, despite last-minute attempts to postpone it until lawmakers meet for a special session on re-districting.

Musgrove says the teacher pay issue needs to be resolved before Sept. 1 when the budget committees start to meet. He believes it is important not to get caught up in what could be a divisive, nightmarish session when lawmakers deal with congressional redistricting. Musgrove says let's go ahead and address the teacher pay raise now.

Many school superintendents say the governor's words reassured them, the pay raises will finally come. Mississippi Superintendents Executive Director Dr. David Sheppard says there's no doubt that the raises will happen next week. Now, the next step is finding the funding for the raises.

Pass Christian School Superintendent Dr. Philip Terrell says the Governor has demonstrated his support for public education and he's right on target, because teacher pay raise should be at the forefront of the state initiative.

Gov. Musgrove says he has great confidence after talking with many members of the House and the Senate, that they will remove the 5 percent provision. He says when they put the issue behind them, it will be a great day for children and for education in Mississippi.

Gov. Musgrove also discussed adequate funding for schools, and getting more federal dollars for special education. He spoke at the Mississippi Association of School Superintendents' Conference in Biloxi.