JACKSON, Miss. – Parents and teachers from across the state rallied at the state capital on Monday to let their legislators know they want full funding of the Mississippi Adequate Education Program (MAEP) and pay raises for all Mississippi teachers.
MAEP has been underfunded by nearly $1.3 billion over the past six years. The program became law in 1997 and was fully enacted in 2002. It was designed to make sure every child had adequate funding required for student achievement. MAEP provides money for teacher salaries, retirement and insurance. It also helps pay for textbooks and other instruments in classroom. Last year it was discovered that several districts were using outdated textbooks and there were not enough textbooks to go around for every student. Fully funding MAEP is part of Mississippi Democrat 2014 Agenda. So far no Republican leaders have stepped up say they support fully funding the program.
At the rally there was also a call to give teachers a pay raise. Mississippi teachers have not seen a raise in seven years and have some of the lowest teacher salaries in the country, making about $5,000 less than teachers in surrounding states.
A new bill known as the CARE (Confirm a Raise for Educators) Act is expected to make an appearance during this year’s legislative session. Advocates are hoping the bill will make it to the governor’s desk. Last year, a $5,000 dollar pay raise cleared the Mississippi House, but it was unable to make it through the Senate..
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