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House rejects Senate's teacher pay raise legislation

JACKSON — House and Senate negotiators will meet to discuss differences in their pay raise proposals for Mississippi public school teachers.

The move comes after the House rejected a Democratic attempt to agree to the Senate’s pay raise proposal by a 71-50 vote yesterday.

Democrats argued that the House should accept the Senate plan because there’s a chance that House Bill 504 would fail if the House agreed to confer.

House Speaker Philip Gunn says that the Senate’s plan, which calls for extra money to be awarded to teachers in improving or high-performing schools, is unconstitutional because it gives bonus payments not covered by contract to public employees for work they’ve already done.

Republican House leaders also says they won’t seek requirements they proposed for teachers to collect the full amount.

Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves, who backed the legislation, said in a statement: “Unfortunately, the House voted… against teachers getting $3,500 more in their paycheck by July 1, 2015. I had hoped this week Gov. Bryant could sign a significant teacher pay increase that included merit pay and was within our budget, but the House let political posturing win over increased teacher pay.”

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