Mississippi House Bill 293 before the legislature this year, if passed, would lower the number of days in the school year from 180 to 170 days. Several of you have reached out to me, asking if this would cause your pay to be decreased, so I made some calls for you. The following is what I was told.
“This paragraph is copied directly from the bill; (3) For each contract entered into before July 1, 2017, having a term of one hundred eighty-seven (187) or more employment days for the 2017-2018 school year, the employing school district shall reduce the term of the contract by no less than ten (10) employment days; however, the annual salary established in the contract for the licensed personnel may not be reduced due to the reduction in the number of employment days required under this subsection. This subsection shall stand repealed on July 1, 2020.”
“It won’t affect teacher pay.”
Here is a link to the actual bill: http://billstatus.ls.state.ms.us/documents/2017/html/HB/0200-0299/HB0293IN.htm.
With that being said, I brought up the following points to our representatives:
1. Teacher contracts are signed yearly, so is their salary protected each year or can a district superintendent opt to pay less?
2. What about hourly employees or any employee that is not under contract, will this impact them or will measures be taken to ensure that their current rate of pay and hours paid for remain the same?
The response I was given is this. The intent of the bill is not to cause a decrease in pay to educators. Our representatives will continue to review the bill and seek legal counsel along the way. If any wording or statement made within the bill would allow for current salaries and pay to be decreased, the bill we be voted down.
As with many things that happen in the legislative process, there can always be unintended consequences resulting from a bill’s passage. If you have concerns, please contact your representatives. They are ALWAYS very responsive to your calls and emails, AND they will take your concerns very seriously. The point of this bill was not to cause educators to lose their current rate of pay.
I hope this helps you. I will keep you updated along the way.