A Mississippi public school teacher with 15 years of experience providing health insurance for their family took home just under $30,000 a year in net pay in 2020, a “shocking number,” a policy adviser with the Southern Regional Education Board told state lawmakers Wednesday.

That’s only a few thousand dollars more a year than first-year teachers who were paying for only their health insurance took home, the adviser said.

A teacher with 15 years of experience took home an annual salary of about $29,680 after taxes and benefits in 2020, compared with about $26,580 for first-year teachers, according to data shared by the Atlanta nonpartisan nonprofit.