Are Mississippi teachers paid less than teachers in other states relative to the cost of living?

Friday, December 17, 2021
By Jacob Alabab-Moser

Salaries for Mississippi teachers are near the bottom of rankings for teachers' salaries across the U.S., even when adjusting for cost of living, according to the latest analyses from 2019. Multiple rankings placed Mississippi teacher salaries between the second- and fourth-lowest among U.S. states when accounting for regional purchasing-power variations. 

Mississippi teachers' salaries are low enough to qualify mid-career teachers for six or more government benefits—more than in any other state. Other factors also impact Mississippi teachers' finances, including high health insurance premiums for family coverage and higher employee contributions to retirement plans in comparison to other states.

Mississippi Gov. Tate Reeves has proposed teacher pay raises over the next three years totalling $3,300, which he says would bump up the state's teacher-pay ranking to the 21st in the country.

This fact brief is responsive to conversations such as this one.
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