Mississippi NewsMississippi Politics

Senate proposes added education funding, pay raise

Lt. Gov. Delbert Hosemann’s office announced Tuesday that the state Senate is proposing legislation to add millions to schools in Mississippi and for more money to teachers. A news release from Lt. Gov. Hosemann’s office said the Senate proposed legislation which would provide an additional $206 million to schools across the state and $50 million for pay raises for teachers and is also committed to raising community college and university personnel pay by an estimated $50 million.

The legislation directs the Department of Education to study two new funding formulas proposed during the 2024 Legislative Session, a revamp of the current formula proposed by the Senate and a new formula proposed by the House.

Under the proposal, the Department of Education would be required to provide a recommendation to the Legislature on how to fund schools by Oct. 1. School districts would be required to spend 90 percent of state funds on teachers, students, and classroom needs rather than administrative personnel.

“We are not married to the current formula. We do, however, believe any appropriation as significant as that which funds our school systems should be vetted and discussed with stakeholders including parents, educators, and the public at-large,” Lt. Gov. Hosemann said. “Studying the issue together, in connection with the Department of Education and our new Superintendent, will hopefully result in a new, long-term sustainable formula both chambers can agree on which is good for students and schools.”

House Bill 1823 is the education appropriations bill which includes the additional $206 million toward education. If adopted, the historic appropriation would almost fully fund the current funding formula, which is about $251 million.

House Bill 765, expected to be considered on the floor Tuesday afternoon, makes the technical changes required for the K-12 raise, which would result in a $1,000 pay raise for every teacher in the state. With the raise, teachers with a bachelor’s degree would start in Mississippi at $42,500.

The community college and university raises, if agreed upon, would be added to Senate Bill 3016 (community colleges) and Senate Bills 3006-3014 (Institutions of Higher Learning), which are pending in the House.

House Speaker Jason White later Tuesday afternoon responded with a statement with his position on the matter.

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