Thursday, April 25, 2019

Funds Short for Teacher Pay Raises (Updated)

Update: MDE CFO Letter to Legislature published at bottom of post. 

The political and education worlds in Mississippi exploded yesterday after it was discovered that the legislature did not appropriate enough money to fund teacher pay raises this year thanks to an error made by the Mississippi Department of Education.  MDE kicked off the ruckus with this press release yesterday:

The Mississippi Department of Education has received numerous calls from superintendents reporting that some teaching positions were not included in their allocation for the teacher and teacher assistant pay raise. The MDE calculated the number of positions based on the code in the Mississippi Student Information System (MSIS) that referenced MAEP-only funded teachers and teacher assistants. Upon further review, it was determined there were additional teachers who were eligible for the raise who were not coded in MSIS as MAEP-funded positions.

The MDE appreciates districts bringing this issue to our attention and we will work swiftly with each district to verify the number of MAEP-funded teachers and teacher assistants. We will provide this information to lawmakers and work with them to obtain the additional funding for the pay raise.

The MDE is committed to ensuring that all teachers and teacher assistants receive their pay raises in the 2019-20 school year.
Thus teachers not funded by MAEP such as vo-tech and special needs teachers won't receive the $1,500 annual pay raise the legislature passed this year.  The legislature approved spending $58 million for the pay raises.  However, the MDE error means another $14 million must be spent for the teachers who are not MAEP-funded.  Governor Bryant urged MDE to find the extra money someway, somehow.  His spokesman, Knox Graham, said the legislature could fund a deficit appropriation in January. He issued a statement:

“It has been Gov. Bryant’s position from the beginning of the 2019 Legislative Session that every teacher, across the board, should receive another pay raise. He was happy to sign that into law last week. It is my understanding the funding figure that was inserted into the legislation dealing with the raises was calculated by the Mississippi Department of Education (MDE) and sent directly to the Legislature. I would have to refer you to MDE for further clarification or comment on their methodology for coming to the figure that was used.”

Secretary of State and Lieutenant Governor candidate Ribbit Hosemann issued the following statement:

“I have been in the classroom with our unbelievably dedicated, knowledgeable, and caring special education teachers. To leave them out of the pay raise bill, along with our CTE and gifted teachers, is unconscionable. The first order of business in the Senate next year will be to address this issue, with interest, in addition to our annual teacher pay raise bill. I hope MDE will do whatever necessary to ease any burden on districts in the interim and ensure teachers receive the funds they deserve.”
while his opponent, Jay Hughes, said on Facebook:

REALLY??? Capitol Math NEWS FLASH: Gov. Bryant blames others and suggests that schools that are underfunded by $2.+ Billion and can't even afford toilet paper, need to "find the money" to cover the pay raises that the legislature forgot to send.
Kingfish note: The teachers are going to get their pay raise.  The legislature will make a deficit appropriation in January.   The real question that should be asked is how MDE dropped the ball.  This was no small affair.


31 comments:

Anonymous said...

Mission accomplished!!!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

The first number they gave fell under the threshold for the budget to agree. All in knowing they would say a mistake was made after the deal went through. It probably would not have passed if there weren’t mistakes made. DUPED!! No accountability.

Anon-Drinker said...

As the husband of a teacher's assistant, my family appreciates and looks forward to the raise. My wife stayed home with our kids, then took the job after the youngest started school so she could be on the same schedule as them. it was our choice, family and are kids are worth the sacrifice to us. the raise will come in handy. Thank you to all concerned.

Shocker said...

What an absolute cluster-F. Primary example of why we need to better fund education...even the powers that be cannot count.

Anonymous said...

Did Dingleburt or the silver-tongued orator William Jennings Bryan craft that statement?

Anonymous said...

Teachers complaine all the time. They don't need a raise. Look at me, I just barely pasted high skool. Don't give them a pay raise becasue they faileed learn me. I want my govermentt free stuf.

Anonymous said...

What a damn clown show.

People trash the Rhodes Scholar auditor for not factoring in inflation. But turns out he's the smartest guy in the room after all, since the rest of them can't even count.

Anonymous said...

Can someone inform Jay Hughes that the legislature funded exactly what MDE calculated? Bless his heart.

Anonymous said...

I bet some of the shortfall could be made up by cutting some administrative positions or their overinflated salaries. Dr. Wright could save a lot of face if she would knock a little off of her over paid (yet under achieved) salary.

Anonymous said...

If I remember correctly, Delbert went to a private school, as well as his kids. What the hell does he know about public schools!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

Hey, 12:48, here’s the answer to your question about what Derbutt knows about public schools:

He knows that if you have a choice, you choose not to go to public schools.

Anonymous said...

Same could be said 12:48 PM for adults without children. What the hell do they know about public schools!!!!!!

Kingfish said...

Not just any public schools. Suppose you went to public schools in another state?

Anonymous said...

Do the same three stooges run the MDOE and the JPS? Nyuk, nyuk, nyuk, pick two fingers, any two. Wise guy, eh? Woop, woop, woop...

Anonymous said...

Well said 12:47, although her entire salary package should be made available less a U-Haul rental for her to go elsewhere.

Anonymous said...

I know this is on MDE, but didn't they have another math error a few years ago?

Anonymous said...

Don't be jumpin' on Jay Hughes. He's one of us, ya know...he's appearing in ads dressed in jeans with his sleeves rolled up and all. Can't hide 'democrat', however.

Anonymous said...

Jay’s great - just ask him.

Wright needs to go over this one. At some point the buck has to stop with her.

Anonymous said...

Ok, MDE messed up, but can nobody put any blame on the legislature or the state for continually funding budgets for a department that can't add? I mean we have PEER and a state auditor continually making self congratulatory press releases, but shouldn't this number have been vetted by somebody before adjourning? I mean its not a small number?

Anonymous said...

12:21 - you think we should "better fund" the bunch of people that can't count? That's what wrong with this government - when you find inefficiency or incompetency, reward it by paying the folks more.

Anonymous said...

Legislature asleep at the wheel. You can’t just sit there and assume that teachers can add and subtract.

Anonymous said...

Hey 6:30, this is simple math. Not a job for the state auditor. He has bigger things to do like opine on policy issues.

Anonymous said...

You morons just do not get it. Quality public schools are essential to the future of MS.

Anonymous said...

This proves we don't have quality schools.

Anonymous said...

That's not the only statement Delbert made yesterday...

Anonymous said...

You can blame MDE all you want, but part of this is squarely on the Legislature. The 2019 Session was supposed to end the first week of April, and various deadlines for bills were set with that date in mind. But, the leadership wants you to think they know what they are doing (and, at the same time, downgrade the importance of the Legislature) by adjourning early. This year, that meant a lot of stuff had to be passed in a short time in late March so that they could end early and go home. So, guess what - things happened. Some were intentional, such as the extra $2 million being shoved into the education bill that very few legislators knew about. Some were unintentional, such as MDE sending a quick figure on teacher raises to lawmakers without doing much research - and legislators passing that number without asking many questions.

1962guy said...

There is not enough money in print to solve the problems with public education.



Anonymous said...

Some were unintentional, such as MDE sending a quick figure on teacher raises to lawmakers without doing much research - and legislators passing that number without asking many questions.

100% spin.

Anonymous said...

@12:47 on 4/25 - YES! YES! YES! YES! YES! YES! YES! YES! YES! YES! YES! BRAVO!

Short Timer In The Mansion.. said...

If Phil had a set, he'd schedule a special session to deal with teacher pay. Like I suggested in the first five words of this post....

Anonymous said...

KF, who is responsible for coding? MDE or the districts?

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