How legislation impacts back to school - - Jackson, MS

How legislation impacts back to school

JACKSON, MS (Mississippi News Now) -

New supplies and new salaries. The Mississippi Association of Educators thinks the positive impact of the teacher pay raise will filter to the classroom.

"It helps the state to recruit new teachers to the classrooms," said MAE Executive Director Frank Yates. "It also helps to retain existing teachers, returning teachers in the classroom and that's a plus for our students.

Educators got an extra $1,500 starting in July. They'll see even more next year. The total raise will be about $3,500 by July 2015.

Another bill was signed in 2013 but is just taking effect this school year. It's the third grade gate. It will prevent a third grader from moving forward if they can't read at grade level. Yates says it'll take targeted instruction.

"Schools are working and have been working to get ready for that," explained Yates. "Some of them have been hiring literacy or assigning teachers that responsibility of being literacy coach to help all those affected."

Those students, teachers and parents are trying to adjust to another back to school change is Common Core.

"Parents will see that their children will now have to think through things and not just try to memorize a few facts," Yates described. "And that's what parents will see."

Yates admits there will be growing pains as Common Core is fully implemented in all Mississippi districts this year. But he believes it's worth it.

The legislature also increased public education funding by more than seven-million compared to recent years. That still doesn't equal full funding according to the formula known as MAEP. A group is currently collecting signatures to put that issue on the November 2015 ballot.

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