The Mississippi Senate Has Approved A Salary Increase Plan Drafted “By Teachers, For Teachers.”

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Mississippi senators rushed fast on Wednesday to pass a teacher pay raise measure in a unanimous vote, sending it back to the House for likely discussion in the coming weeks.

The decision occurred just a day after the Senate Education and Appropriations committees adopted a version of the plan that would offer teachers a $4,700 increase over two years on average.

“It’s a plan by teachers, for teachers,” said Senate Education Committee Chairman Dennis DeBar, a Leakesville Republican who hosted public hearings on wage rises last year.

Senators awarded DeBar a standing ovation after the vote on Wednesday.

The House has until March 24 to act. It can approve the Senate’s revisions, which would send the bill to Republican Governor Tate Reeves for signature. Alternatively, it might try to reach an agreement with the Senate in final discussions.

DeBar expressed the expectation that the law will be sent to the governor this week, avoiding any possible conflicts over rival tax-cut ideas.

Mississippi has some of the nation’s lowest teacher pay.

According to the Southern Regional Education Board, the average teacher pay in Mississippi for the 2019-20 school year was $46,843. This was lower than the regional organization’s average salary $55,205 for instructors in the 16 states. $64,133 was the national average.

According to the state Department of Education, the starting wage for a Mississippi teacher with a bachelor’s degree is $37,000 for the current school year. Teachers with greater experience and higher degrees are paid more.

Separate proposals were enacted by the House and Senate a few weeks ago to increase teacher compensation by at least $4,000 per year.

Because House committees failed to review the Senate measure before a Tuesday deadline, the two Senate committees altered the House bill and passed it. It now includes the Senate plan as well as a measure to provide teachers’ aides $1,000 increases for two years. The helpers’ income would rise to $17,000 per year as a result. The rise for assistants was included in the House version but not in the Senate proposal.

According to Lt. Governor Delbert Hosemann, the Senate approved the updated proposal on Wednesday, which would provide teachers an average increase of $4,800 through a two-year phase-in of the basic pay price.

The following is how the Senate bill works:

  • Teachers with a bachelor degree in Class A start at $40,000.
  • Every year, including in the first three years of teaching, all instructors would get a $500 step raise. Step raises are currently not available until the third year of teaching.
  • Teachers would earn a greater raise based on their certification in Years 5, 10, 15, and 20.
  • Teachers in Class A (baccalaureate) would be paid $1,325 per year.
  • Class AA instructors with a master’s degree would be paid $1,425 per year.
  • $1,525 would be awarded to Class AAA (specialist).
  • $1,625 would be awarded to Class AAAA (doctoral).
  • Teachers would receive a $2,500 raise after 25 years of service.
  • Teacher assistants would get a $2,000 boost, bringing their annual salary to $17,000. The rise for assistants was included in the House version but not in the Senate proposal.

The standard income schedule, according to Hosemann, does not include any local or state supplements instructors get, such as additional compensation for moving to critical needs regions or becoming a National Board Certified Teacher.

Puerto Rico Teachers Will Get A $1,000 A Month Salary Increase After Protest

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Puerto Rico’s public school teachers will receive a temporary $1,000 monthly salary increase starting in July, Governor Pedro Pierluisi announced Monday, as he promised to make it permanent.

The desicion came after nearly 70 percent of teachers across Puerto Rico left school and protested their working conditions and wages on Friday, AP reports.

“For years, we’ve truly been waiting for this moment,” said Víctor Bonilla, president of the Puerto Rico Teachers’ Association, which represents some 25,000 teachers.

The base salary of public school teachers in Puerto Rico is $1,750 a month, a number that hasn’t budged in 13 years. While some teachers praised Monday’s announcement, Puerto Rico’s Association of Teachers, is requesting that base salaries increase to $3,500 a month.

Giovanna Ostolaza, who teaches 8th and 9th grade English at a school in the capital of San Juan, said it’s very hard to live on a teacher’s salary, especially for those who have families. She also worried that the governor might not come through on his promise to make the increase permanent.

“They have to prioritize education,” she said. “These are people essential to society.”

Puerto Rico economist José Caraballo-Cueto noted that utilities are nearly 60 percent more expensive in Puerto Rico than the U.S. average, and groceries are 18 percent more expensive. However, healthcare and housing costs, among others, are lower in comparison, according to Puerto Rico’s Institute of Statistics.

Sybaris Morales Paniagua, interim general secretary for the teachers’ association, said they will make sure the increase is made permanent as part of a collective agreement still being negotiated and that they will continue to push for even higher wages. She said in a phone interview that the governor told them he also has identified funds to increase teachers’ defined contribution pension plans.

Video: Clark County School District Responds To Video Of Violent Attack At Las Vegas School

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School district leaders are responding to a violent video that shows a girl being punched in the head repeatedly by another girl inside a Las Vegas High School classroom full of students.

Footage Of The Violent Attack (Warning: Graphic Content)

“Violent acts, assaults, and bullying will not be tolerated in the Clark County School District, and those who choose to engage in these activities will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law,” said Superintendent Jesus F. Jara in an emailed statement.

The email included a statement from Board of Trustee President Irene Cepeda:

“The CCSD Board of School Trustees and superintendent take every incident of violence seriously, regardless of who commits the violence. As recently as last Wednesday (3. Focus: 2024 Priority Area Ensure Students and staff are safe and students are engaged at school), at our joint work session, the trustees and superintendent reiterated their commitment to safety in schools and ensuring schools are places where students and staff feel safe, and education can occur.”

Iowa Bill Calls For Teachers to be Monitored by Cameras

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Iowa Republican lawmakers introduced a bill this week that would require cameras to be installed in all public school classrooms.  

The purpose of the cameras would be to allow parents and guardians to view their children’s classes via livestream.  

Republican state Rep. Norlin Mommsen sponsored the bill which could force schools to set up cameras in all K-12 classrooms, with the exception of physical education and special needs classes, according to the bill.

Teachers and other school staff who fail to keep their cameras in working condition or obstruct the view could be fined up to 5 percent of their weekly salary for each infraction, the bill adds.

Mommsen told  The Center Square, an offshoot of the Franklin News Foundation, the main purpose of the bill is to boost parent involvement in their children’s education.  

 “I think we need to showcase the great work our teachers do,” Rep. Mommsen told the outlet during a phone interview this week.

“Similar to a body camera on a policeman, a camera takes away the ‘he said, she said’ or ‘he said, he said,’ type of argument and lets them know ‘hey, we are doing a good job.’ It takes that argument away.”

Teachers unions and education groups have criticized the legislation for attempting to censor what is said in the classroom.

“Some politicians around the country want to limit not only what history our kids can learn about and what books they can read, censor the truth of our history in some cases, and, now in Iowa, they want to install classroom cameras for live monitoring of teachers,” Becky Pringle, the president of the National Education Association, the largest educators union in the U.S., told NBC.

“Instead of wasting public funds on monitoring equipment, we should employ additional qualified professionals, reduce class sizes, and provide more programming that helps students acquire the skills they need,” Pringle added.

“The inappropriateness of belief that there should be continual videotaping in a classroom is something that should not even be considered,” Mike Beranek, the president of the Iowa State Education Association told KCCI.

Student Among 3 Killed In 2 US School Shootings On The Same Day

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Washington: Two campus police officers were shot and killed at a college in the US state of Virginia Tuesday, while one student was killed and another wounded in a shooting at a school in Minnesota the same day.

Two agents, a campus law enforcement officer and a campus safety officer, were shot before the suspect fled the scene at the college in Virginia, Virginia State Police said in a statement on Twitter.

Multiple law enforcement agencies arrived on the campus of Bridgewater College around 1:20 pm (1820 GMT) in response to active shooter reports, according to the same statement, which the school also posted to its website.

The suspect, a 27-year-old man named Alexander Wyatt Campbell, was later apprehended, Virginia State Police said, adding that he had a “non-life-threatening gunshot wound.”

It was not yet clear if he had been shot by police or if the wound was self-inflicted. He has already been charged with murder, police said.

The town of Bridgewater, about two and a half hours south of the US capital of Washington and where Bridgewater College is located, sent out an alert around 1:30 pm warning of an active shooter situation, local media reported.

The school issued an all-clear notice on its website around 4:30 pm.

One student, 21-year-old, Kasey Truslow, told the Washington Post she heard a gunshot outside the window of a classroom building.

“After the second shot, we got on the floor. We remained on the floor for an hour,” she said.

Virginia Governor Glen Youngkin tweeted, “I have been briefed on the situation at Bridgewater College. The shooter is in custody and state and local police are on the scene.”

‘Sickening’

The officers were identified by the school as John Painter and J.J. Jefferson. 

The pair “were shot and killed on campus while protecting us,” a statement from college president David Bushman on its website said.

“These officers were close friends, known to many of us as the ‘dynamic duo.’ John was J.J.’s best man in his wedding this year. They were beloved by students, faculty and staff. I hurt for their families and loved ones, as I know we all do,” the statement continued.

Bridgewater Mayor Ted Flory posted a statement on the small town’s website.

“Bridgewater is shocked by today’s senseless violence at Bridgewater College,” Flory said. “We are heartbroken by the needless injuries and loss of life.”

President Joe Biden, who has called on Congress to enact tougher gun control laws, tweeted about the shooting, saying he and his wife “are praying for the families of those lost.”

“Gun violence against law enforcement officers is sickening, and it must end,” he said.

The shooting in Minnesota occurred in the town of Richfield just outside of Minneapolis around noon, officials said, leaving one student dead and another wounded.

The attackers opened fire on the students on a sidewalk outside the South Education Center before speeding away in a car, Richfield Police Chief Jay Henthorne told the StarTribune newspaper.

Two suspects were later arrested, the paper said, noting that friends of the victim had identified the slain student as Jamari Rice, who some local journalists said was the son of Black Lives Matter activist Cortez Rice.

Cortez Rice was arrested last year and charged with attempting to intimidate a judge handling the trial of ex-police officer Kim Potter officer who killed a Black man in April when she said she mixed up her taser with her pistol during a traffic stop.

(This story has not been edited by Edernet and is published from a syndicated feed.)

Genius Low-Tech Life Hack For Teachers To Show Handwritten Notes In Online Classes

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Being a student during the pandemic is a bit of a challenge given all of the technical hurdles and “culture” shock that they have to go through just to be able to learn.

And it’s not just students, but teachers as well. They have their own slew of challenges to overcome and adapt to. So every bit of help and support counts when it comes to making the whole learning process more convenient and effective.

Meet Carmen Castrejón, an educator of 20 years at King/Drew High School of Medicine and Science, who has recently demonstrated a very simple, yet very effective way of helping students be on the same page as you are when it comes to learning the material.

On her Facebook, Castrejón shared how she is showing her “whiteboard” to her students over her camera on Zoom. Instead of writing things down or having them prepared on a sheet of paper that is held in front of her face each time, she simply did some “mirror wizardry”.

The idea is to tape a pencil to the back of your laptop screen. Several short strips of tape should do the trick. Then, simply put a CD on the pencil with the reflective side down. The CD has a very convenient hole for hanging it on the pencil.

Finally, make sure to tape a small weight—a quarter, for instance—to the side of the CD so that it tilts in a way that covers the camera and is within its scope. This way, the camera will pick up the CD’s reflection of anything that you put underneath it.

“The department shows students how to work out problems without spending so much money. We are in a low-income school that can’t really supply us many of the resources, even in a regular school setting,” elaborated Castrejón. “After working with students all day, I wanted to find a way to show them how to work a problem without having to go look for a camera or spend more of our own money on it.”

She continued: “So, I started to look for items that were around my house that had a reflection and thought of a compact mirror, but couldn’t find one and then thought about a CD. And then a pencil to hold it. After zooming a meeting by myself, I saw that the picture was inverted, so I looked online for solutions.”

The thing that Castrejón decided to exemplify this teacher hack with was some good, old-fashioned math. So, instead of having the kids look at you, they will now look at the matter at hand… or at keyboard.

And if you want the students to look at you, then simply pick up the CD and voila, all eyes on you. Castrejón does note that you may need to finagle with some settings in order to make sure your final image is tilted the right way—it can end up being mirrored or upside down depending on the default preferences.

And this can be used with more than just lessons—meetings, group hangout (where you’re playing hangman, for instance), and loads of other things that involve you needing someone to see your notes and doodles. Students can also use it to show their homework and stuff.

There is a bit of a drawback, though—if you plop down a sheet of paper and attempt to write something on it, you might end up pressing some of the keys on the keyboard below. Or piercing the paper if it’s not thick enough.

Also, why do this if you can share your screen? But then again, if you have nothing digital to share, or wouldn’t like to accidentally flip to an unwanted window in front of your entire class, this is an easier and safer setup then.

“Teaching kids at home is a struggle. Even after 19 years of teaching, you feel like a new teacher because there is so much to learn,” explained Castrejón the difficulties of teaching during the pandemic. “It’s difficult to motivate students and have them actively participate, especially when they are going through their own struggles. So we are all doing what we can because we cannot let our students fall behind. And going back into the classroom is a risk no one should have to take.”

The post went viral soon after it was published. While Castrejón’s post got some attention, it really started making rounds on Facebook when Hugo Maestra shared it, getting over 44,000 reactions and nearly 200,000 shares.

“I am still in shock that so many people shared my hack. It was something simple to help a few teachers out that may not have had the resources,” said Castrejón. “Teachers are always buying things out of their own pockets and one more thing to buy can hurt their income. I like how something positive went viral instead of all the negative stuff we see lately in our feeds.”

She continued: “Educators are doing the best they can and even the most experienced teachers feel like it’s their first year. We are in this together and the more we do to help each other as parents and teachers, the better it will be for our kids.”

A Cambodian Teacher Posted Photos Of A Backpack A Father Weaved For His Son Because He Was Unable To Afford To Buy One

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Getting an education is one of the most important milestones of a child’s life which has a crucial role in determining a child’s future. However, according to the United Nations, almost 60 million primary school-aged children aren’t in school. One of the most common reasons is poverty. There are many children throughout the world, who, instead of going to school, have to work to support their families, collect water or look after their siblings.

To help kids get a better future, parents do their best in supporting their children’s pursuit of education. Recently, one exemplary parent became viral for his efforts.

When five-year-old NY Keng from Cambodia started going to a new school, his teacher Sophous Suon couldn’t help but notice his original backpack.

Suon explained that a simple school bag cost 30000 riels ($7) in her area and there are many parents who are struggling to afford them. However, NY Keng’s father who works as a farmer, decided to save money on a school bag and resorted to a much more creative option.

Using the last bits of raffia string, he weaved a beautiful blue backpack. Once Suon posted the photos of the schoolbag, it quickly went viral. People were impressed by the father’s dedication and creativity. “People said that it’s heartwarming, touching, cool and creative father, love this bag,” said the teacher.

Kind-hearted people even took it as an opportunity to offer help to the family. “Few foreigners asked for contact to send him the bags and my school leader already send his contact for them,” said Suon.

Study Reveals New Texas Teachers Leaving The Job After Just 1 Year

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According to the 2020-2021 Texas Teacher Workforce Report, nearly 50% of teachers resigned after the first year.

A recent study shows that new teachers in Texas are quitting their jobs at an alarming rate after the first year. This is a problem that educators are adding to the staff shortage that the district is already facing from the pandemic.

“Unfortunately, in the first year of the teacher, we see a lot of burnout,” he said. Houston Teachers’ Federation 2020-2021 Texas Teacher Labor Report, it turns out that almost 50% of teachers quit after the first year.

Lamar CISD recently had a first grade teacher send a viral video for recording. “I want to be fired at this point. If I had to stay here, I would literally hurt myself,” said an unnamed sixth-grade teacher at Harry Wright Middle School.

After that, the teacher took a leave of absence. The district sent a statement condemning the teacher’s comments.

Anderson says he will shed light on the bigger problem. “I got a call from a teacher asking how to get out of the contract without penalty.”

She says there are several factors that contribute to the deficit. One is the lack of teachers and staff due to covid.

“This really creates difficulties. Teachers there need to double the classes to cover additional classes,” Anderson said.

Another thing she says is payment. “One of the things they have to do is start compensation. If you have to do a couple of jobs to achieve your goals, you will burn out. As an educator for 33 years I can tell from my experience.”

It has been reported that Texas’s average teacher salary from 2011 to 2019 increased little or no.

“We need to seriously consider the renewal of education and what is expected and needed,” Anderson said. She says the shortage has a direct impact on the classroom, “the conclusion of this is that our students are suffering.”

New Mexico’s Governor Volunteers For Substitute Teaching Amid Staffing Shortage

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As schools around the U.S. continue to experience staffing shortages caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, New Mexico Governor, Michelle Lujan Grisham, has reportedly signed up to become a volunteer substitute teacher in order to combat the situation.

According to CNN, the New Mexico politician has launched an initiative asking both state workers and National Guard members to become licensed volunteer substitute K-12 teachers and childcare workers. The initiative is to help fill staffing gaps in hopes of preventing closures across school districts and childcare centers.

Volunteers will need to clear a mandatory background check as well as complete an online substitute teaching training. They will also undergo typical onboarding processes done by the schools where they are being placed. This new program speeds up the approval of the licensing process to just two days. However, civil servants and National Guard members who are currently taking on critical healthcare roles or administering COVID-19 vaccinations are not to participate in the school initiative. They will remain on their healthcare assignments.

The New Mexico Governor revealed to CNN’s Fredricka Whitfield this weekend that she has no prior experience in education. She is also expecting to sub in an elementary school next week. She explains that the state has no choice but to ask for additional help from the public. “There aren’t any other options.”

The New Mexico politician also said she will donate her services and not accept payment. “We’ll have additional information about her placement this upcoming week,” press secretary Nora Sackett states.

Lujan Grisham says that she is among the 100 (50 National Guard members and 50 state employees) who are signing up for the New Mexico school substitution initiative so far. “The whole goal is certainly not to interrupt the qualified experienced work that is required in our public schools.”

The New Mexico governor also shared that around 60 school districts and charter schools are now at remote learning. This was due to staff members testing positive for COVID-19. Some staff members were also isolating or quarantined under CDC recommendations.

Along with the 60 school districts, 75 New Mexico child care centers have also been partially or completely closed since the start of 2022. Santa Fe Public School Superintendent Hilario “Larry” Chavez, stated the initiative is instrumental in helping to return to in-person learning. It will also reduce stress on remaining staff who have taken on additional duties at the schools.  

MaryBeth Weeks, head of the New Mexico Parent Teacher Association, has also issued a statement about the initiative. “This initiative will help create a stable school environment, as well as help parents who are having to juggle childcare and jobs.”

‘I will bring every single gun loaded,’ Parent Threatens Virginia School Officials During Mask Mandate Meeting

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A Virginia woman has been charged after she appeared to threaten school board officials while they met to vote on whether to lift a mask requirement.

The Luray Police Department announced that 42-year-old Amelia King would be charged with oral threat on school property. King was captured on a video broadcast for the Page County Public Schools school board, which was considering a vote on mandating masks for students, on Thursday, stating, “My children will not come to school on Monday with a mask on… I will bring every single gun loaded and ready.”

When a board member again cut off King, noting that three minutes is a policy, she said: “I’ll see y’all on Monday.”

Later during the meeting, a school board member read an emailed statement from King where she apologized for her phrasing. 

“I in no way meant to imply all guns loaded as in actual firearms, but rather all resources I can muster to make sure that my children get to attend school without masks,” she clarified. “My sincere apologies for my poor choice in words.”

Nonetheless, school officials condemned the threat, saying in a statement that the district “does not take these kinds of statements lightly.” Superintendent Antonia M. Fox and school board chair Megan Gordon said there would be increased police presence at each school within the district on Friday and Monday. 

“Not only do comments such as these go against everything we wish to model for our students, they go against the very nature of how we as community should interact with each other,” Fox and Gordon said in a joint statement Friday. “Violence and threats are never acceptable or appropriate. This kind of behavior is not tolerated from our students, faculty, staff, nor will it be tolerated by parents or guests of our school division.”

King was arrested Friday and was later released on $5,000 bond, according to Luray police.

Footage of the incident can be seen below:

Virginia Parent Threatens School Board With Armed Response Over Mask Mandate, Youtube: Storyful News & Weather