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Bills could effect pay schedule for public school teachers

Three bills have been submitted to the State House of Representatives and Senate that would effect when payroll for teachers is processed.  File Photo

Three bills have been submitted to the State House of Representatives and Senate that would effect when payroll for teachers is processed.
File Photo

Three bills making changes to payroll schedules for school districts were submitted in the State Senate and State House of Representatives last week.

One of the bills was co-authored by Senator Tony Smith and Senator Angela Burks Hill of Picayune.

The bill would allow school districts to decide whether they would process payroll for district employees and teachers twice a month or once a month.

Hill said in 2012, a bill was passed that “streamlined payroll to once a month.”

Previous to that law, Picayune Municipal Separate School District was processing payroll twice a month, whereas Poplarville and Pearl River County school districts were processing payroll once a month.

Hill said there are very few school districts in the state that processed twice a month before the code change in 2012.

“It should probably be a local decision,” Smith said.

“I don’t see why they shouldn’t be able to make decision on local level,” Hill said.

Both Hill and Smith said they voted for the 2012 bill, but that the bill was a compromise. The original bill planned to “centralize payroll of school districts into one agency in Jackson,” Hill said.

Senator Billy Hudson, who represents District 45, has also introduced a similar bill.

Representative John Moore, the Education Chair and representative for District 60, introduced the third bill to the House.

Moore said the bill was drafted to clarify payroll processing schedules with the changes to the school year calendar.

Moore said when the Department of Education changed to the new schedule, there was concern it would prevent teachers from being paid in August.

The bill says, “licensed school district employees shall earn a salary payable in equal monthly installments beginning in the first month of employment, regardless of the number of days worked in any particular month by the employee.”

“We’re trying to make sure teachers are receiving compensation that they have received for the last 40 years,” Moore said.

Moore said the bill would not change the amount of time for which teachers are paid in a month.