Meager Pay Raise or Meager Stipend? Ask the BESE and the Governor…

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Today, Governor Edwards announced that he plans to include a small pay increase for teachers and school employees in his new Executive Budget. He proposed $400 for teachers and $200 for support employees. What remains unclear, is if this would result in a sustained raise or a one-time stipend, and whether or not there will also be additional monies put in level 1 of the MFP for schools to use more generally.

We know that the COVID crisis was hard on the state revenue projections, and we’ve all had to tighten our belts, but now that the state’s financial forecast is looking more positive, it’s vital we invest in our teachers and school employees. Unlike many other states, Louisiana schools remained open, giving parents the opportunity to return to work. Our teachers and school employees have spent the last year risking their own lives, and the lives of their loved ones to ensure that students continue to have access to the best possible education. They have learned to rethink everything about the way they were trained to teach and develop entirely new pedagogies for the virtual space.
 
Being an educator is harder than ever. This year, teacher morale has plummeted.* 44% quit after their first five years;** those who can afford to retire or leave are doing just that. Fewer people are applying to work in our schools and Louisiana ranks 47th overall for teacher-friendliness.*** If we don’t work to address this now, and show our teachers and school employees how much we value their service, our schools will only continue to lose talented staff and our students will suffer.