Tupelo teacher pay above state guidelines

By Chris Kieffer/NEMS Daily Journal

TUPELO – Tupelo school teachers will continue to make at least $3,000 per year more than the state requirements next year.
The district’s school board approved salary schedules for teachers and assistant teachers at its regular meeting last week.
The schedule remains the same as the one used this year, but teachers who have less than 35 years of experience will earn at least $530 more than they did this year because of their extra year of experience. Teachers earn their maximum salary during their 35th year.
The Mississippi Department of Education recently approved its teacher salary schedule for the 2011-12 year, a document that is also unchanged from the current school year. Local districts cannot pay less than the state’s salary guidelines but can offer more, as Tupelo does.
Mississippi teacher pay is based on an educator’s degree and years of experience.
First-year Tupelo teachers with a bachelor’s degree will earn $34,228, or $3,328 more than the state requires. They will then earn an additional $534 to $535 each year until their 35th year, when their salary tops out at $54,968. The state mandates a $495 annual raise to reach a maximum salary in year 35 of $50,285.
Tupelo’s base salary and annual raises for teachers with master’s, specialist and doctorate degrees also exceeds state minimums.
Tupelo had the seventh highest average teacher salary in the state during the 2009-10 school year, the most recent year for which comparable data is available from the Mississippi Department of Education.
Tupelo’s pay for assistant teachers will range from $13,009 for a first-year educator with a GED or high school diploma to $19,604 for a 23rd-year assistant teacher with a bachelor’s degree.
Contact Chris Kieffer at (662) 678-1590 or chris.kieffer@journalinc.com.