House Appropriations approves a 36 billion dollar budget plan that includes an 800 dollar pay raise for K-12 teachers and a 400 dollar pay raise for support staff.

The Governor’s initial budget only called for a 400 dollar teacher pay raise and 200 dollar support staff pay raise. Louisiana Federation of Teachers Legislative Director Cynthia Posey says teachers needed more than that.

“Unfortunately we felt that to make it to the southern regional average that the 400 and 200 just wouldn’t get us there quickly enough,” said Posey.

An initial proposal by House Speaker Clay Schexnayder called for a 1,000 dollar raise. That’s still a possibility, pending a revenue projection by the Revenue Estimating Conference.

Posey said without this raise and raises in the coming years we risked seeing even more teachers head across state lines, or even give up on the professional altogether.

“If you want to recruit good teachers and keep them in the profession so that our children are provided a world-class education then we need to pay teachers,” said Posey.

Posey said this raise is a boost to local economies because the money will stay in the community, particularly rural areas that have trouble retaining educators.

“It will enable teachers to go to rural districts and stay there and teach the children there,” said Posey.

The increase is paid for in part by the influx of one-time federal dollars the state got from the Biden Administration. Some Republican lawmakers raised concerns about how the raise will be financed in future years once the federal funds run out.

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