Mississippi teachers deprived of raises after clerical error

Superintendent promises raises for all teachers

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - School districts across Mississippi are wondering where funding will come from, after teachers did not receive their approved raises.

“So what we’ve got to look at right now is, are we going to be held accountable for that amount of the raises for those teachers," said Corey Uselton, DeSoto County superintendent.

A mistake made by the Mississippi Department of Education miscounted the number of eligible teachers for a promised $1,500 raise.

The error generated an estimated $10-15 million shortfall in funding.

DeSoto County superintendent Cory Uselton says their district alone is owed $1 million.

“There were several groups of teachers that were left out of this. The career technical teacher, a lot of our special education teachers, our gifted teachers the list goes on and on," said Uselton.

Uselton says this creates a big headache and a bit of uncertainty for the district during their budget period.

However, he promises all his teachers one thing.

“Our teachers and teacher’s assistants in DeSoto County Schools will get the raise they deserve," said Uselton.

The question is whether local school districts will have to make up the difference in the short-term or whether the state legislature will provide a solution.

“We’re hopeful that it will get done soon. I heard it could be as soon as the next few weeks or it might be when the legislature gets back in session. So right now we’re just waiting on more guidance from the Mississippi Department of Education," said Uselton.

An estimated 20 percent of Mississippi teachers didn’t get the raise they deserve.

Some lawmakers have called for Governor Phil Bryant to call a special election to rectify the issue, so far no word from the Governor’s Office.

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