The Mississippi Legislature began its week with a new state flag as Governor Reeves signed HB 1 into law on Monday. Immediately after the signing, officials hosted a flag raising ceremony on the steps of the State Capitol. HB 68 has been passed by the House which would provide additional funds for the purchase of official state flags for the exterior and interior of state buildings and state offices.
Senate Education Committee
Passes Three Bills
The Senate Education Committee met Wednesday to discuss and pass three bills that will impact both in-state and out-of-state teachers:
SB 2001 is the teacher pay raise bill that was proposed last year, but due to COVID was not passed. This bill increases the starting pay for certified teachers with 0-2 years of experience to $37,000, increases the minimum salary for assistant teachers to $15,000, and provides a $1,000 pay increase for all other teachers. SB 2001 is double referred and will now head to Senate Appropriations for consideration.
SB 2267 revises the requirements for out-of-state teachers who seek to teach in Mississippi. Under SB 2267, the law will grant a standard 5-year license to anyone who: (1) possesses a valid license from another state, and (2) can pass a background check. The bill was amended in committee to require MDE to grant a license within thirty days of receiving a completed application. The bill was also amended to take effect upon passage, as opposed to July 1, 2021. The committee is hoping that this law will help to alleviate the hurdles that were discouraging teachers who wanted to teach in the state. The bill will now head to the Senate for consideration.
SB 2149 requires MDE to hold school districts harmless for average daily attendance (ADA) purposes for the 2020-2021 school year. The bill requires MDE to use each district’s 2019-2020 ADA in place of the district’s 2020-2021 ADA for purposes of calculating Mississippi Adequate Education Program (MAEP) funding. The bill will now head to the Senate for consideration.
Additional bills have been introduced in both the House and the Senate. The first being HB 52 which would require Mississippi history and US government to be included in the curriculum for high school students and HB 110 which would require computer science to be taught in all public schools. Other notable bills include SB 2040 which would allow for the provisions of the Mississippi compulsory school attendance law apply to kindergarten-age children and SB 2299 which seeks to increase school board member pay. Each of the above bills has been referred to their corresponding Education Committees.
To view the bills that have been assigned to the House Education Committee, click here.
To view the bills that have been assigned to the Senate Education Committee, click here.
The current deadlines for legislation are:
Monday, January 18, 2021 — Introduction of general bill and constitutional amendments
Tuesday, February 2, 2021 — Committees to report general bills and constitutional amendments originating in own house
Thursday, February 11, 2021 — Original floor action on general bills and constitutional amendments originating in own house
Day at the Capitol
MSBA’s Day at the Capitol, originally scheduled for March 2, 2021, has been postponed until further notice.