According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the immigrant population in Mississippi rose from 1.4% to 2.2% in the ten-year period leading up to 2011. The state was home to 65,056 new residents from abroad as of 2011.
The National Center for Education Statistics reported that 1.2% of Mississippi’s public school students participated in programs for English Language Learners (ELL) during the 2011-12 school year. These 6,175 students represented a 2.74 fold increase over the 2002-03 school year.
Although 70% of the state’s ELL students spoke Spanish, the Mississippi Department of Education reported that its ELL student community speaks more than 75 different languages. Vietnamese and Chinese were the second most commonly spoken languages. ESL teachers help these ELL students become proficient in English.
Demographics have shifted in the state, and many school districts that previously had few ELL students are now working to accommodate students from diverse linguistic backgrounds. This means, there is an increasing need for ESL teachers throughout Mississippi.
School districts often offer bonus incentives to ESL teachers, so their salaries can be higher than average. In addition, many teachers obtain their ESL endorsements through TESOL master’s degrees and are eligible for higher salaries as a result of holding an advanced degree.
The Mississippi Department of Employment Security provides the 2014 wages of K-12 teachers in the state:
Other ESL teachers educate adults. They are included in the category of Adult Basic and Secondary Education and Literacy Teachers. The Bureau of Labor Statistics provides 2013 salary data for these Mississippi teachers in the following table: