Teacher group seeks blanket raise, Bryant opposes



By Jeff Amy

Associated Press

BILOXI – The Mississippi Association of Educators is pushing for a blanket pay raise for the state’s public school teachers, but Gov. Phil Bryant is holding firm in his opposition, saying he only wants to give pay raises based on merit.

Bryant reiterated his preference for raises based on test scores and teacher evaluations Monday.

The Republican governor’s comments follow a speech Friday by Joyce Helmick, the president of the Mississippi Association of Educators. The leader of the teacher union says she believes lawmakers have enough money in 2014 to fully fund the state’s K-12 education budget and give teachers a raise if they choose.

Mississippi teachers made the second-lowest average salary in the nation in 2011-2012 at $41,646, according to a study by the National Education Association.

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  • Guest Person

    Wow – that is something to be proud of our state about – second average teacher salary in the nation. I guess our Republican leadership selectively forgets the basic rule of the market – if you want the best you need to pay the best. I guess as far as education is concerned we are getting out of it what we are putting into it. Does not take a rocket scientist to figure out why we are on the bottom of the pack for the nation.
    Can anyone give me an example of any great country from history that “cut” it’s way to greatness?

    • Todd

      You cannot just look at “salary” alone. You have to look at cost of living. Since our State’s cost of living is relatively low compared to many State’s, I would expect wages to be lower. I am not saying they don’t need a raise…but when someone uses raw wages as the only benchmark, you are likely to get the wrong answer. The wages have to be adjusted for COL. Then look at where you are in “pack of 50”.

      • Guest Person

        I base it on the fact that we pay the second lowest in the nation – AL, ARK, GA and TN all has our COL and they pay better. The question is how to you recruit the best talent in a state with low wage jobs? Not by a COL sales pitch that says we are so poor everything is cheaper.

  • charlie

    The rebubs aim to kill public education in the state. Look at what they have done so far: attack the retirement system, push charter schools, raise requirements for students to get into education, no pay raise in 5 years. When public education is dead, if the repubs are still in power, they will hire Private companies to run education for a profit. They won’t have to follow the rules that public education has to.
    Remember the reason for “Charter Schools” They won’t have to follow the rules. Which rules will they not have to follow? Please some of you repubs tell us. I suspect that the rule about serving all the children is the one that they will ignore.

    • barney fife

      Look how well they’ve done with privatizing the prisons.

  • Kevin

    I’m torn on this because I think that teachers have an amazingly difficult job to do–to teach our young people, manage a hefty bureaucracy at the same time, and deal with irascible parents. But on the other side of the coin, I’m an instructor at one of our colleges here in the state. One of the classes that I teach every other semester is required for secondary ed majors, so the class fills up every other semester with 180 students in it each time. About 85% of them are ed majors and they are among the most unmotivated of all the students in that class. They complain unnecessarily so about having to read books, attend class, write essays, and take tests. Many have told me “my daddy paid my tuition, why can’t I just have my A?” and others tell me “you make this class so hard when all my education classes are so easy, I like never have to study…” So I don’t have much faith in the people going into the teaching profession. On yet another side of the coin, the state should pay teachers well because they are in charge of our kids and people in charge of society’s kids shouldn’t get shortchanged. I guess what needs to happen is schools of education need to set the bar a little higher if you want to major in education. What I see and what my colleagues agree is that schools of ed seem to attract unmotivated people reaching for low hanging fruit.

    • Teri Coley Adams

      I majored in English and then went back to the university to get my Secondary Teacher Certificate. I think all teachers should have to major in a particular discipline before being accepted into a teacher cert program.

      • Kevin

        Yes, I agree. When I was in high school, every teacher had at least a master’s degree in the subject area they taught. Needless to say, my teachers way back then instilled a love learning in me that has lasted a lifetime.

  • 1941641

    Republicans are comparatively less enthusiastic about Public Education than Liberals. They are hell-bent on obliterating Public Education. Just look around you and follow the news headlines and politics and you will see for yourself. Fundies like Gov. Bryant would rather see students being home schooled as Public Schooled so they can be influenced by Biblical teachings and to hell with the real facts of the world they will ultimately encounter.