Q May a school district allow years taught at the college level to count towards a licensed employee’s teaching experience as defined in Section 5 of the Mississippi Accountability and Adequate Education Program for purposes of determining salary?

A No. Section 37-151-5(m) specifies that the “years of teaching experience” is limited to teaching experience in the public or private schools. Exceptions are listed, but they are limited to librarians, military personnel, speech-language pathologists and audiologists. However, a school district has the authority to pay a licensed educator a local salary supplement and, in accordance with Section 37-9-37, should consider experience outside public and private schools when fixing a salary above the statutory minimum. Any policy adopted by a school board that specifies the factors to be considered in fixing salary above the statutory minimum salary scale should be uniformly applied to all licensed educators within the district. (Attorney General’s Opinion to Smith, April 26, 2013)