DECISION 2019: Lt. Governor candidates weigh in on teacher pay issue

Updated: Apr. 9, 2019 at 7:48 PM CDT
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JACKSON, MS (WLBT) - Teachers pushed to get a higher raise during the most recent legislative session. The final amount was $1,500.

Teacher pay is more than just campaign talking points for Mississippi teachers weighing options of a strike or walkout. So, what do the Lt. Governor candidates think of that latest development?

“They have finally awakened to see who their abuser is," said Jay Hughes (D). "And that’s what it is. What happened at the end of this session was a classical abusive relationship.”

“They have a right and certainly have earned the ability to protest and to tell people and to be very active in communicating their needs,” noted Delbert Hosemann (R).

As candidates, they’re making a big promise.

“So, I have pledged that we would have a teacher pay raise every year that I’m Lt. Governor and I intend to do that,” said Hosemann.

“The solution would look like not promising a raise every four years. It would be giving a raise every year," noted Hughes.

Neither are giving a specific amount but say they wouldn’t want the Southeastern average to be a stopping point.

Still, where would the money come from for those raises?

“We already have the money in Jackson," Hughes added. "We just have the wrong priorities. It would come from maybe not having private driveways. It would come from the lottery being applied to education like other states do. There is so much waste going on in our state government top to bottom.”

“I’ve advocated reorganizing state government," Hosemann. "My budget this year is less than the day I started. We can do this. We can re-prioritize the money and make sure it’s going to people that are in mental health, teachers, and others in need of basics to earn a living. Yeah, we can do that.”

Both are saying they’d like to see meaningful raises for all state employees.

View Republican Delbert Hosemann’s full interview on teacher pay below.

View Democrat Jay Hughes’ full interview on teacher pay below.

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