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Reeves says education agenda includes teacher pay raises

MGN Online

Tate Reeves says he has a four-year plan to increase teachers' salaries if he's elected governor.

Posted: Oct 10, 2019 11:30 AM

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — Republican Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves released his education proposals Wednesday, saying he has a four-year plan to increase Mississippi teacher salaries if he's elected governor.

He said the plan will not require a tax increase because Mississippi's economy is good and state tax collections are exceeding expectations.


Jim Hood (left) and Tate Reeves

Reeves discussed his proposals at a news conference in Gulfport.

"We've crunched the numbers and determined exactly how we can ensure that our teachers make much more in the coming years," Reeves said. "I don't traffic in false promises of unlimited free money."

On Thursday, Reeves and the Democratic nominee for governor, Attorney General Jim Hood, are debating each other for the first time. The one-hour debate begins at 7 p.m. at the University of Southern Mississippi in Hattiesburg and is being carried on statewide TV and radio.

Hood released his education proposals, including a teacher pay raise plan, in mid-September. Hood said Wednesday that teachers have struggled with low pay during Reeves' time as lieutenant governor.

"We're at an urgent crossroads for education in Mississippi," Hood said. "We've underfunded our schools. Teachers are buying supplies out of their own pockets, and they're making less than they were in 2012."

Although teachers have received raises, including one this year, Hood said their paychecks have less spending power because of inflation.

Reeves proposes increasing state spending from the current $12 million to $24 million for teachers' classroom supplies.

He said he wants to increase teacher pay by $4,200 over four years: $1,500 in the first year, $1,000 in the second, $1,000 in the third and $800 in the fourth. He said the goal is to hit the Southeastern average for teacher pay, which currently is just over $47,000.

Reeves also proposes increasing the supplement for teachers who meet rigorous standards to earn national board certification. Mississippi's current supplement is $6,000 a year, and his plan would increase that to $10,000.

Hood calls for a $3,000 boost in teacher pay over two years, saying the $1,500 provided by lawmakers this year is insufficient. Using numbers from this year, that would cost more than $150 million. Hood would go further than that, realigning yearly increases for experience so educators would get a 2% boost for each year they teach up to 25, and then a 5% yearly boost for years 26 through 35.

The election is Nov. 5.

Two candidates running low-budget campaigns are also running for governor. They are independent David Singletary and the Constitution Party's Bob Hickingbottom.

The current governor, Republican Phil Bryant, is wrapping up his second term and is barred by state law from seeking a third.

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 15229

Reported Deaths: 723
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Hinds99925
Lauderdale73561
Madison72023
Scott65012
Neshoba63038
Jones59825
Forrest55338
DeSoto5337
Rankin4217
Leake42112
Holmes39728
Copiah3104
Jackson30513
Attala29216
Yazoo2734
Newton2714
Leflore25831
Harrison2577
Lincoln25628
Monroe25525
Lamar2355
Oktibbeha23512
Lowndes2119
Pearl River20931
Pike20211
Adams19615
Noxubee1856
Wayne1771
Warren1719
Washington1687
Covington1652
Bolivar16011
Jasper1574
Smith15011
Lee1496
Kemper14411
Clarke14318
Chickasaw13312
Lafayette1314
Coahoma1214
Carroll11711
Marion1159
Clay1124
Winston1121
Claiborne1112
Lawrence1021
Simpson1010
Yalobusha905
Hancock9011
Tate891
Grenada893
Wilkinson889
Itawamba877
Union835
Marshall833
Montgomery831
Sunflower813
Jefferson Davis772
Tippah7311
Panola703
Webster691
Calhoun644
Humphreys607
Amite601
Walthall550
Tunica543
Prentiss523
Perry503
Choctaw432
Jefferson421
Tishomingo320
Pontotoc323
Stone300
Franklin282
Tallahatchie271
Quitman260
George251
Alcorn171
Benton150
Greene121
Sharkey70
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Confirmed Cases: 17359

Reported Deaths: 618
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Mobile2191115
Jefferson1780102
Montgomery163238
Tuscaloosa73814
Marshall6879
Franklin5457
Lee54033
Shelby50319
Tallapoosa42364
Butler40217
Chambers35325
Walker3442
Elmore3398
Madison3274
Baldwin2839
Dallas2603
Morgan2511
Etowah24811
DeKalb2433
Lowndes23812
Coffee2291
Sumter2206
Autauga2164
Houston2094
Bullock2034
Pike1980
Colbert1782
Russell1670
Marengo1636
Lauderdale1612
Hale1598
Calhoun1543
Choctaw1518
Barbour1501
Wilcox1447
Clarke1422
Cullman1260
Randolph1257
Marion12111
St. Clair1181
Pickens1114
Dale1100
Talladega1093
Chilton1001
Limestone940
Greene944
Winston880
Covington771
Jackson772
Crenshaw763
Macon754
Henry742
Bibb721
Washington686
Blount611
Escambia573
Lawrence480
Geneva400
Conecuh391
Coosa381
Monroe372
Perry370
Cherokee373
Clay272
Lamar230
Fayette150
Cleburne141
Unassigned00
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