Teachers give their lesson plans for potential pay raise

Published: Nov. 16, 2021 at 2:36 PM CST
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LONG BEACH, Miss. (WLOX) -$3,300 over a three-year span is the potential raise for state teachers and a piece of the upcoming state budget that Gov. Tate Reeves wants lawmakers to approve.

Brandy Zink is teacher of the Year for the Long Beach School District. She’s been on the job 17 years and currently works at Long Beach High School.

“I teach Teacher Academy, so here I am trying to get kids to major in education and to go out and be a teacher, and they ask about the money. It’s real, it’s a very big concern for them,” Zink said. “Nobody here’s doing it for the money. So when I hear raise, I think yes, but in my brain, I just know to put my blinders up and focus on the kids.”

The proposed budget for Reeves includes that three-year raise that would bring the state’s average teacher salary up from 37th in the nation to 21st.

Long Beach Middle School Principal Johanna Hughey is the district’s Administrator of the Year and a former math teacher who’s also seen teacher pay raises come and go.

“On paper, it looks great, and anytime you hear teacher pay raise, you want to cheer,” Hughey said. “But when you do the math, it equals approximately $6.95 a day. We’re making progress in that direction, but I’d like to see more done for our teachers.”

While they say $3,300 over three years really isn’t a lot of money, they say that increase could help keep teachers closer to home.

“We have to maintain a competitive edge,” said Kelliegh Broussard, the district’s executive director of curriculum and instruction. “The narrative has to advance to say that we’re competitive at a regional, as well as a national level.”

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