Mississippi House passes bill to cover gap in teacher raise


JACKSON, Miss. (AP) – The Mississippi House voted Thursday to pay the full cost for this year’s teacher pay raise.

The $1,500-per-person raise was approved during the 2019 session. But, officials later discovered a bureaucratic error that resulted in too few teachers being counted as the state budget was written. The error meant that too little money was initially set aside for the budget year that started July 1.

House Bill 1 will cover the shortfall of more than $18 milion. It moves to the Senate and is expected to pass there, too. It would then go to the governor.

House leaders say teachers have not missed any pay.

Speaker of the House Philip Gunn released a statement about the bill.

“Since passage of the teacher pay raise during the 2019 legislative session it came to our attention that the legislature was not provided with the complete information from the Mississippi Department of Education regarding the number of teachers from each district. Today the Mississippi House of Representatives passed HB 1, the very first bill of our 2020 session, to correct this almost $18.5 million discrepancy and to fulfill our promise to raise the pay of all Mississippi teachers.”

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