Reeves says teacher compensation is key to long-term success in tackling the teacher shortage.
In the 50-page report released by Reeves of the Mississippi Governor’s Human Capital Task Force, he details how Mississippi leaders should work together to reform and improve teacher compensation, expand opportunities for the profession, and provide support. new and experienced teachers.
A copy of the report is available here.
Currently, the state is reporting teacher shortages at all levels for the 2021-22 school year. The subjects which specifically lack qualified teachers are mathematics, science, special education and world languages.
According to the report, up to 45% of teachers in the South leave the field before completing their fifth year in class. They cite many reasons for leaving, including poor working conditions, lack of support, overwhelming stress, and inadequate pay and benefits.
“Teachers play a critical role in the long-term success of our state and our country, and my administration will be unwavering in its commitment to ensuring they have what it takes to teach the next generation of leaders.” said Governor Tate Reeves. “First of all, the teachers deserve a raise and I will do everything in my power to make it happen quickly. “
The task force includes teachers, local school superintendents, education teachers and deans, a university president, members of the State Board of Education, the State Superintendent of education Carey Wright and other officials from the Mississippi Department of Education, Mississippi institutions of higher learning, the Mississippi Community College Foundation, and the Mississippi Department of Job Security.
The main recommendations of the report include:
- Improve the courses and preparation of teachers
- Create more formal teacher residences to provide future educators with a true classroom experience and ensure that all pathways to the profession meet the same high standards.
- Offer tuition breaks or loan discounts for future teachers.
- Develop marketing campaigns to attract students into teaching – showing how they can enter the field and why the profession is important.
- Build a new system to assess and show the quality of teacher preparation programs in state colleges and universities.
- Make sure future teachers get more experience in real classrooms, incorporate the latest technology, and nurture students’ social and emotional health.
- Convene all two- and four-year colleges to agree on transferable education courses and establish a pathway for future teachers that begins in community colleges.
- Launch an introductory education course for dual-enrolled high school students that all Mississippi colleges recognize.
- Strengthen support for teachers throughout their careers
- Incorporate support programs for new and experienced teachers and high quality professional development into the licensing system.
- Build a new teacher’s license structure that allows for advancement, expands leadership opportunities, and provides the opportunity to increase salaries.
- Increase teacher remuneration at professional levels
- Increase salaries and benefits to attract high caliber candidates.
- Develop a new statewide minimum salary structure – with regular increases in the cost of living and incentive compensation for teacher-leaders in low socioeconomic school districts.
Members of the task force also urged leaders to work on a state-wide longitudinal data system to monitor student progress from childhood to the workforce.
Below is a list of members who sit on the Mississippi Governor’s Education Human Capital Task Force.
- Tate Reeves, Governor
- Dr. Richard Blackbourn, Former Dean of Education, Mississippi State University
- Dr Ben Burnett, Dean of Education, William Carey University
- Dr. Debra Burson, Office Director, Educator Preparation, Mississippi Department of Education
- Kelly Butler, CEO, Barksdale Reading Institute
- Glen East, Superintendent of Education, Gulfport School District
- Dr. Karen Elam, Member, Mississippi State Board of Education
- LaJeremy Hughes, elementary school teacher, Della Davidson Elementary, Oxford School District
- Dr. Teresa Jayroe, Dean of Education, Mississippi State University
- Audra Love Dean, Deputy Executive Director for Academic and Student Affairs, Mississippi Community College Board
- Heather Morrison, Director, P-20 Partnerships, Mississippi Institutions of Higher Learning
- Dr. Cory Murphy, Executive Director, Education and Leadership, Mississippi Department of Education
- Dr. Felecia Nave, President, Alcorn State University
- Dr. David Rock, Dean, School of Education, University of Mississippi
- Robin Stewart, Director, Office of Job Connections, Mississippi Department of Employment Security
- Sara Stylles, Principal Teacher, Oak Grove Middle School, Lamar County School District
- Lillie Bryant Sweazy, high school teacher, Natchez High School, Natchez-Adams School District
- Jackie Turner, Executive Director, Mississippi Department of Job Security
- Dr Carey Wright, State Superintendent of Education
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