Teachers Bring Strong Message to Louisiana Lawmakers
Louisiana teacher have a strong message for state lawmakers. They want a larger pay raise for educators. The proposal being discussed right now would boost teacher pay by $1500 dollars a year, but the Governor and education leaders have asked for a $2,000 increase.
Governor Wants More than Lawmakers Included
But the budget approved by the Senate Finance Committee keeps the pay raise at $1500 dollars a year.
Louisiana Federal of Teachers President Larry Carter says "we think they deserve much more than that and they deserve a pay raise now."
Under this budget plan, school support staff would get a $750 dollar increase rather than the $1,000 bump proposed by the Governor.
Average teacher pay in Louisiana is $51,500. The teacher unions showed off a billboard in Texas showing starting teacher pay in the Lone Star State is $58,000. Texas is actively recruiting Louisiana teachers, especially from communities close to the border like Shreveport and Bossier City.
Could a Pay Raise Impact Teacher Shortage?
Over the past four years, Louisiana teachers have gotten more than $3,000 in increases, but we still rank 12th among the 16 southern states in teacher pay. Louisiana Association of Educators President, Dr. Tia Mills says it is imperative Louisiana try to reach the southern regional average in teacher pay sooner rather than later to show our commitment to our students. She says this will also help address the teacher shortage in schools across the state.
Carter says teachers and their representatives will actively fight for adequate pay increases. He says many other states in the region will take advantage of our situation in an effort to lure teachers away.
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