Lauderdale County, Miss. In what looks to be Randy Hodges last term as Lauderdale County Superintendent, he spoke with us "On the Record" about some major issues that need attending to that have been neglected at the state level for far too long.
"We're looking at a teacher pay raise," Hodges feels. "I think there is no amount of importance that you can put on that that's going to put us where we need to be."
Hodges believes this is essential for our teachers because at the end of the day, it's our teachers that make a school successful.
"As I’ve been in this field a long time, I am certain that the most important element of a successful school, a high performing school is our teachers," Hodges explains. "It's that teacher in the classroom, it's that teacher with that student 180 days and our teachers haven't had a pay raise in 7 years."
He doesn't stop at just a pay raise. Hodges believes it needs to be a big pay raise since Lauderdale County sits near the bottom in teacher pay nationally.
"I also feel like it needs to be a significant pay raise," Hodges says. "If you’re close to the bottom, and we are, then let's move it up, let's move up the ladder, and to do that it's going to take a significant pay raise."
Hodges says now's the time to strike, that momentum favors educators now that lawmakers realize that it's time for a raise as well. So with momentum on his side, Hodges feels that it is going to happen.