Teacher pay vote may come Wednesday, plus look at benchmarks

Teachers with more than five years of experience must obtain three of 22 benchmarks to get a pay raise of as much as $4,250 over a four-year period under a House proposal. Those benchmarks are:
* Having or working to obtain a AA certificate.
* Having or working to obtain a AAA certificate.
* Having or working to obtain a AAAA certificate.
* Having or working to obtain World Class teacher designation.
* Having or working to obtain national board certification.
* Receiving a principal recommendation of being deserving of a pay raise.
* Demonstrating on a consistent basis student growth on statewide-mandated testing programs.
* Serving as a featured speaker or on the committee of officially recognized organizations designed to improve student achievement.
* Serving on the education committee for a community group, such as the Rotary Club.
* Having membership in a professional organization that focuses on student achievement, but does not collect dues for political purposes.
* Participating or having participated in seminars “outside the normal required.”
* Serving as an official mentor teacher.
* Teaching in higher education as an adjunct professor on in a bridge program.
* Volunteering for school-sponsored extracurricular activities or testing program
* Supervising student teachers.
* Teaching advanced placement course.
* Obtaining additional teaching endorsements.
* Teaching dual enrollment classes.
* Serving in an official leadership position, such as grade chair, team leader or leader of a professional learning community.
* Being absent no more than five days in contract year. Being absent for school-related events would not count toward absences.
* Being certified in critical subject area, including special education, math, biology, chemistry, physics or French, German or Spanish.
* Teaching courses that align with end-of-course subject area tests.
By Bobby Harrison
Daily Journal Jackson Bureau
JACKSON — The full House could vote as early as today on a teacher pay raise bill.

“I think we might try to move it up,” said Speaker Philip Gunn, R-Clinton, “I would like to.”

On Tuesday, a key deadline day to pass legislation out of the committee in the chamber where it originated, the House Appropriations Committee passed the proposal that could provide teachers a $4,250 pay raise over a four-year period.

The bill, a key priority for the House Republican leadership, was passed out of the Education Committee on Monday. The double-referred bill also had to pass the Appropriations Committee on Tuesday or it would have died.

Now that it has passed Committee, Gunn said he would like to bring it up on the floor of the House as quickly as possible. He indicated that the leadership has the option to move the legislation up on the calendar so that it would receive quicker consideration.

By the same token, the 57 House Democrats could block consideration of the proposal for at least a day if they want.

Whether they will was not clear Tuesday.

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