Mississippi Senate leaders are proposing a plan to increase teachers’ pay an average of $4,700 over two years to try to move the state away from its perpetually low national ranking for educators’ salaries.

Republican Lt. Gov. Delbert Hosemann and Senate Education Committee Chairman Dennis DeBar unveiled the proposal Monday during a public policy forum.

“This pay plan will make us more competitive with our neighbors,” said DeBar, a Republican from Leakesville.

The average teacher salary in Mississippi during the 2019-20 academic year was $46,843, according to the Southern Regional Education Board. That lagged behind the average of $55,205 for teachers in the 16 states of the regional organization. The national average was $64,133.