• Teachers and Leaders

When we partnered with the Survey Research Laboratory (SRL) at Mississippi State University in 2021 to survey 6,496 teachers across the state about their pathway into the profession, financial well-being, career plans, and policy preferences, we had one mission: help struggling teachers.

With about one in five teachers statewide participating, the 2021-2022 Mississippi Teacher Survey became a critical resource for crafting policy recommendations to address Mississippi’s critical teacher shortage. Using this insight into Mississippi’s educator pipeline, we subsequently released two publications detailing our analyses: Voices of the Shortage and Eyeing the Exit. The first report led to the largest single-year teacher pay raise in our state’s history in 2022, while the second provided a deeper look into which teachers are at the highest risk of leaving the classroom.

A year after the historic raise, Mississippi continues to see high levels of teacher turnover. We turned back to our reliable tool, surveying teachers, to confirm our hypothesis that record inflation, which reached a peak in 2022, was cutting into the gains promised by the teacher salary increase. With the 2022-2023 Mississippi Teacher Survey, we can confirm that record high inflation has largely negated the impact of the teacher pay raise.


The results from the 2022-2023 Mississippi Teacher Survey give us a lens into the realities of Mississippi educators.

Record inflation has largely negated the impact of the 2022 teacher pay raise.

About half of teachers continue to report being likely to leave their classroom within the next year.

Financial insecurity remains widespread among Mississippi teachers, despite the 2022 pay raise.

Black teachers and their peers of color continue to report troubling levels of financial insecurity and attrition risk.

Financial insecurity remains one of the most reliable predictors of attrition.

Policy Recommendations

This new research provides clear insight into what teachers need the most. Policymakers can take immediate action with these policy solutions to shift the educator pipeline dynamic.

Provide Mississippi teachers with an across-the-board raise that outpaces inflation.

Offer targeted compensation and reduce burdens for teachers with the greatest risk of attrition.


Toren Ballard

Director of K-12 Policy

Toren Ballard is the Director of K-12 Policy at Mississippi First and is a co-author of Nothing in the Pipes: Educator Crisis in Mississippi, Voices of the Shortage: 2022 Mississippi Teacher Survey, and Eyeing the Exit: Teacher Turnover and What We Can Do About It.

Grace Breazeale

K-12 Policy Associate

Grace Breazeale is the K-12 Policy Associate at Mississippi First. Along with this report, she co-authored Eyeing the Exit: Teacher Turnover and What We Can Do About It. She also publishes a monthly blog post dedicated to K-12 education policy in Mississippi.