TATE’S CLAIM: “A teacher that is teaching in a classroom today is going to make $8,000 per year more than he or she made when I ran for lieutenant governor.”[Tate Reeves, GOP Primary Debate, 7/23/19]
FACT: Adjusting for inflation, Mississippi’s average teacher pay is about $900 less today than it was when Tate Reeves took office in 2012.
Worst of all, he’s taking credit for the annual pay increase teachers already received before he came into office—which amounts to $4,000 of the $8,000 he cites. Keeping with his brand, Tate is taking credit for something that he had nothing to do with because it was already in law before he came into office.
He’s not including the thousands of teachers that have started after 2012, and also failing to acknowledge that an educator in Mississippi can teach for 10 years and still earn under $40,000 per year.
Tate Reeves doesn’t talk about averages—the measure most use when evaluating teacher pay—when he spouts off this claim. By that measure, Mississippi’s average teacher pay is $44,926—the lowest in the nation.
TEST SCORES & GRADUATION RATES
TATE’S CLAIM: “Reeves said student test scores and graduation rates for Mississippi public school children are up…” [Geoff Pender, Clarion Ledger, 8/3/18]
“When I ran for lieutenant governor eight years ago, Mississippi’s high school graduation rate was 74 percent. The national average was 83 percent… Our graduation rates today are now on par with the national average and if the trend continues, and I believe it will, we will exceed the national average by next year. This was a simple solution, as most effective fixes usually are. We raised the level of expectations. We raised the goal and set real consequences for failure to achieve it and now Mississippi kids are learning more and learning faster than ever before.” [Tate Reeves, Commercial Dispatch, 7/10/19]
FACT: Increased test scores and graduation rates are in spite of Tate Reeves underfunding our state’s public schools by nearly $2 billion. Teachers and students deserve the credit here—not Tate Reeves.