Is Governor’s Proposed Teacher Pay Hike Enough?
Governor John Bel Edwards is proposing a pay raise for teachers. He plans to ask lawmakers to bump up teacher pay by $1,000 a year. But leaders from the state's largest teacher unions says that is simply not enough.
Les Landon with the Louisiana Federation of Teachers says it would take a 1,850 dollar raise to get Louisiana teachers back to the regional average, but the regional average is also too low. He tells the Louisiana Radio Network:
"The last time there was a significant pay raise was in 2007. It was a 2300 pay raise for teachers and that's probably a good place to start the conversation."
But you should know that an 1,850 dollar raise, or 3.65 percent, would cost the state 105 million dollars a year. Including all support personnel such as cafeteria workers and principles would jack the price up to 170 million a year.
Landon says teacher’s chronically low pay is one of the reasons we are facing a teacher shortage.
Landon is not the only one calling for more money. Debbie Meaux with the Louisiana Association of Educators is calling for a 1,200 dollar a year raise for teachers, as well the establishment of living wages for support personnel. Meaux says the decade long decline in teacher quality of life has many looking to leave the profession.
Average teacher pay in Louisiana is 49,800 dollars. The national average is 58,000.