Despite all the debate in the Legislature over teacher pay raise bills and which one is the best, they are in reality remarkably similar.

This year, both the House and Senate put forth legislation that would increase salaries for public school teachers. Late on Tuesday, House leaders killed a Senate bill on a crucial deadline day, essentially forcing Senate leaders to pass a House bill to be used as the vehicle to provide Mississippi teachers a pay raise. Though the House bill is the vehicle that survived, either chamber’s plan could ultimately get signed into law.

The House bill costs nearly $220 million per year. The Senate bill costs about $230 million. Both bills provide $2,000 pay raises for teacher assistants.

A key difference is that the House bill is enacted in one year. The Senate proposal is phased in over two years, though, the bulk of the salary increase in the Senate bill is in the first year.

The Senate plan provides teacher assistants a salary increase of $1,000 in the first year and another $1,000 hike in the second year. The House plan provides teacher assistants the full $2,000 increase in the first year.

More than likely, the issue of teacher pay will be decided late in the session where House and Senate leaders meet in a conference committee to work out the differences. But for teachers or anyone else who want to compare what they would make under the House and Senate plans, the two following charts can provide some information. Click on the drop downs to see what teachers of various experience and education levels make under each plan.

House plan:

Senate plan:

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Alex Rozier, from New York City, is Mississippi Today’s data and environment reporter. His work has appeared in the Boston Globe, Open Secrets, and on In 2019, Alex was a grantee through the Pulitzer Center’s Connected Coastlines program, which supported his coverage around the impact of climate change on Mississippi fisheries.

Bobby Harrison, Mississippi Today’s senior capitol reporter, covers politics, government and the Mississippi State Legislature. He also writes a weekly news analysis which is co-published in newspapers statewide. A native of Laurel, Bobby joined our team June 2018 after working for the North Mississippi Daily Journal in Tupelo since 1984. He is president of the Mississippi Capitol Press Corps Association and works with the Mississippi State University Stennis Institute to organize press luncheons. Bobby has a bachelor's in American Studies from the University of Southern Mississippi and has received multiple awards from the Mississippi Press Association, including the Bill Minor Best Investigative/In-depth Reporting and Best Commentary Column.