Board mulls educator pay options

BY GINNY MILLER
Daily Journal

TUPELO – Ninety of Tupelo's teachers can expect pay raises soon when the governor signs legislation; however, officials are making sure others in the school system don't get left behind.

The legislation calls for Mississippi teachers with more than 25 years in the classroom to receive incremental pay raises. Superintendent Randy McCoy said that involves 90 educators, but the Board of Trustees is considering pay options next year for employees not covered by those state funds.

“House Bill 513 is the funding mechanism that was passed and is currently awaiting the governor's signature,” McCoy told trustees on Tuesday.

State Rep. Brian Aldridge, R-Tupelo, said Gov. Haley Barbour is scheduled to sign the bill into law today at 1:30 at Rouse Elementary School in Brandon.

Currently, the salary schedule for teachers stops at 25 years in the classroom but that will rise to 35, Aldridge said, noting that with the state's $90 million Medicaid shortfall there just wasn't money available to give raises to every teacher.

“I'm hoping next year we'll have the ability to give a 3 percent pay raise to all teachers, but it was not possible this year,” he said.

At the school board meeting, however, McCoy noted that teachers will receive a $495 step increment.

“They will all get a slight raise because they will all get a step on the salary scale,” he said. “That's something that's already there.”

McCoy also spoke to trustees about the possibility of a 3 percent raise for administrators and a 4 percent pay increase for other employees, including bus drivers, custodians, secretaries and cafeteria workers.

Final budget approval will be in August.

Contact Daily Journal education writer Ginny Miller
at 678-1582 or ginny.miller@djournal.com.