The Mississippi Democratic Caucus is calling upon Governor Bryant to fix the teacher pay deficit.
After a calculation error by the Mississippi Department of Education was discovered and it was found out that thousands of teachers may miss out on the $1,500 pay raise, the Democratic Caucus says Governor Bryant needs to pull money from the Rainy Day fund to make up for the $14 Million error.
“We call upon Governor Bryant to immediately fix the so-called $14 million “error” that denies a large number of public school teachers the $1,500 raise we believed we passed in Senate Bill 2770 during the regular session,” the statement reads.
“We advise that he implement the power granted to him years ago by the Legislature to single-handedly move dollars from the Rainy Day Fund to close the funding gap,” the statement reads. “We believe this would be the quickest, easiest and most logical action he can take to address the issue. Any subsequent budgeting adjustments to the Rainy Day Fund and teacher pay can be handled in January 2020 with the start of the new term.”
While Democrats attempt to place the blame upon Governor Bryant and leadership in the Senate and House, Republicans like Representative Becky Currie aren’t standing for it.
“I’m here to tell you that the Department of Education apparently can’t count,” said Currie. “You know, we pay a superintendent more than any other state in the United States and we depend on her to give us the information that we need and apparently they can’t count. Everybody knows that there are different paid teachers. Career and technical teachers are paid by the federal government and they are in a different stack, but when we ask for those numbers, we expect them to be able to give us the right numbers.”
Currie adds that teachers shouldn’t be scared that they are not going to get the pay raise which the legislature appropriated to them and said they are well equipped to fix the issue come January.
“We will make sure everybody gets their raise. It is ridiculous to think that you wont,” Currie said. “We have many agencies that we go in with deficit appropriations every year and we fix it January 1, or we can call a special session. It’s probably not necessary, I think it’ll be just fine, but everyone wants to point fingers right now and the only finger pointing that needs to be done is to Carey Wright.”