Coast teachers celebrate signing of teacher pay raise

The pay raise begins with the 2022-2023 school year.
Gov. Tate Reeves made the state’s largest teacher pay raise in state history official, signing the long-awaited bill into law.
Published: Mar. 31, 2022 at 6:31 PM CDT
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LONG BEACH, Miss. (WLOX) - Mississippi Gov. Tate Reeves made the largest teacher pay raise in state history official Thursday, signing the long-awaited bill into law.

Coast teachers said it not only helps the pocketbook, but it shows lawmakers really do respect what educators do to help turn children into productive adults.

“It is an exciting day for our teachers and teacher assistants throughout the state of Mississippi,” said Amanda Reiser, a teacher at Harper McCaughan Elementary in Long Beach. “We are really excited that we can finally get that recognition and even in that monetary recognition of how hard our teachers across the state work.”

With Gov. Reeves’ signature, teacher salaries will now be raised by $5,140 and assistant teachers will receive a $2,000 raise. That puts Mississippi above the southeastern and national averages.

“It’s amazing. Extra money is more weight off the shoulders,” said fellow Harper McCaughan teacher John McCreary. “Everyone tends to live just outside their means. So, this gives me a little space to grow, I guess.”

And it gives him a reason to keep doing what he is doing.

“It definitely gives me an incentive to stay longer,” McCreary said. “We’re in the state with the lowest cost of living so this raise goes a lot farther than just the $5,000 you see on the face value of it.”

Reiser said the raise not only attracts and keeps new teachers, but has benefits for the veterans on staff.

“My group of teammates, we’re all veteran teachers and we all think, you know, ‘Can we make it to retirement?’ This is that extra little push that extra little bump to be like, ‘Hey, yeah. We can do this.’ We can make those extra few years to help continue to stay in the system supporting our students as best as we can.”

And McCreary added it is a good example for the rest of the country.

“It’s a big step and I believe it could be the start of a much-needed snowball.”

The pay raise begins with the 2022-2023 school year.

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