JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) - In a press release sent out by the Chair of the House Education Committee, Chairman Richard Bennett expressed continued support for providing teacher pay raises to all 40,991 Mississippi educators, even those left out by the Mississippi Department of Education’s calculations.
“It was our intent, as the Legislature, to provide pay raises to all teachers and teacher’s assistants,” Bennett wrote.
He revealed that the legislature appropriated $58,442,743 in order to provide these educator pay raises.
After the MDE released pay raise information to the school districts, Bennett says the districts then alerted MDE that certain positions had not been accounted for.
Once told of this miscalculation, Bennett says he and other members of the Legislature began working to perform a “deep dive” into MDE’s data system to address the issue.
“MDE has worked with each individual district to ensure that the information in the data system has been updated and is correct for this pay raise,” Bennett wrote.
Bennett says that House leadership is supportive of funding this deficit and ensuring that school districts will not be required to absorb any costs associated with the pay raise.
“As a former school board member, and now as Chair of the House Education Committee,” concluded Bennett, “I remain firmly committed to the best interests of Mississippi’s public education system.”