Legislators are currently working to find any excuse to avoid funding a permanent raise for teachers and school employees this session. But the truth is simple: the funding is available!
The only question is
In an election year, lawmakers like to brag about the increases to teacher and school employee pay passed in recent years. Still these marginal increases haven’t kept up with neighboring states. Louisiana has continued to fall further behind the Southern Regional Average for teacher pay. Moreover, Office of Group Benefits (OGB) premium increases have outpaced raises passed by the legislature. Last year, teacher and support staff pay was increased by an average of 3%, but OGB increased rates by 4.5%. This is on top of the rising cost of living which impacts educators every time they buy groceries for their families or pay for a tank of gas.
Some legislators have said that they don't think teachers at failing schools deserve a raise because teachers there haven't done "their job" well enough. They've suggested withholding all funding from schools that haven't improved student outcomes, and have said the legislature does not need to increase teacher pay because teachers don’t expect to make a lot of money.
At the same time, legislators pass bills that would add to educators' ever-expanding and already overpacked workload.
This year the Governor is calling for an across the board $3,000 raise for teachers and $1,500 for support staff. BESE and the LDOE are calling for a $2,000 raise for teachers, $1,000 for support staff and a $1,000 differential payment stipend for certain teachers. A stipend is not a raise, and differential payment models are deeply unpopular among teachers. In LFT's recent survey, 76% of teachers said they prefer step increases over merit based pay, partly because our current evaluation system is so flawed.
Send a message to the legislature: