Weekly NewsBriefs 3/21/22 - 3/27/22
Lawmakers pass largest teacher pay raise in Mississippi history – By Geoff Pendor, Mississippi Today
The state House on Tuesday passed the largest teacher pay raise in state history — one that kept growing as the House and Senate haggled — on to the governor.
“This has been like making sausage — it’s not pretty, but the end result is pretty good,” House Education Chairman Richard Bennett, R-Long Beach, said before the House voted 118-4 to send a $246 million teacher raise to Gov. Tate Reeves, who indicated he would sign it into law.
The average annual teacher raise will be $5,140, and the raise will begin for the 2022-2023 school year. Starting teacher pay will increase from $37,123 to $41,638, putting Mississippi above the southeastern and national averages.
Mississippi’s teacher pay by several metrics is the lowest in the nation, and the state has struggled to recruit and retain teachers.
Maine DOE proposes changes to Child Developmental Services – By Jack Mundry, News Center Maine
Child Developmental Services is under the Maine Department of Education, and it offers support for kids with disabilities who are under five years old.
Maine is the only state in the country with these services under the DOE, and the department wants to change that and leave it up to school districts to provide those services. Some local school leaders said it would simplify the process.
"One of the positives that would absolutely be in place would be there would be less transition for families and students as they move through the support services that are provided to them," Gorham Superintendent Heather Perry said.
Some parents said it's all happening too fast.
"We are very concerned that if the timing moves forward, that children will be hurt and lost in this process," Carrie Woodwork, executive director of Maine Parent Federation, said.
State initiative lets high school students weigh in on how to spend COVID relief funding – By Angelo Bavaro, Fox 61
The Connecticut State Department of Education is giving high school students the chance to decide how more than $1.5 million in federal COVID-19 relief funds should be spent on schools across the state.
The initiative is called “Voice4Change,” a first-of-its-kind campaign with the goal of increasing student engagement by challenging students to think critically to solve real-world problems
On Wednesday, Lieutenant Governor Susan Bysiewicz and other state leaders dropped by Bristol Central High School to hear some ideas.
“It was really cool. I did like all the ideas. I thought it was very well put for everybody,” said student Hailey Rosado.
“When we received the resources, we know we needed to give the money to schools for all kinds of reasons but we didn’t want to do this without you,” said Commissioner of the Connecticut State Department of Education Charlene Russell-Tucker.
Students in participating high schools were required to submit proposals to the state outlining how they would spend up to $20,000 in their schools.
SC Dept. of Education expands, improves programs to tackle teacher shortage – By Courtney Rowles, WPDE.com
The South Carolina Dept. of Education (SCDE) is making efforts to combat the teacher shortage across the Palmetto State.
SCDE expanded two successful home-grown programs, Call Me MISTER and Teaching Fellows, and introduced a new initiative, TeachSC.
"There is no profession more rewarding or more crucial to the future success of our state and nation than teaching,” said State Superintendent of Education Molly Spearman. “If we are truly committed to ensuring every South Carolina classroom is led by a high-quality teacher, we must act now to address our growing teacher shortage. Whether you are in high school, college, or someone seeking a more fulfilling career, I encourage you to check out these proven programs and consider becoming a teacher and having a lifelong impact on current and future generations of learners."
The SCDE is providing $1.69 million in federal Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSER) funding over three years to the national nonprofit, TEACH, which builds comprehensive, technology-driven solutions to attract and cultivate future teachers.