Legislators on both sides of the aisle are now saying that we’ve reached a tentative agreement to give teachers a $2,000 raise and support staff $1,000 – but at this point nothing is final.
A lot can change in a matter of hours, so we must continue to put pressure on Senators to support pay raises for teachers and school employees.
On Thursday, May 18th, our raise appeared to be in jeopardy. The Senate Education Committee voted to send the MFP back to the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education (BESE),. The following Wednesday, BESE met, but decided to defer to the MFP, taking no action to amend the proposal due to conflicting recommendations from the legislature.
On Friday, the tides changed in our favor. The Senate Education Committee met again and reconsidered their vote on the original MFP proposal and decided to move it forward, reporting it favorably out of Committee. Also on Friday, Commissioner of Administration Jay Dardenne and State Superintendent Cade Brumley spoke before the Senate Finance Committee about the importance of fully funding the teacher and school employee raise with general agreement from the Senate President and Committee.
There are less than two weeks left to move the MFP through the legislative process! At the same time, the Senate is considering amendments to the budget (HB 1). In order for teachers and school employees to receive a raise, the MFP (SCR 2) must pass through the legislative process in the House and the Senate AND the legislature must fully fund the MFP in the final version of the budget (HB 1), which must be approved by both the House and the Senate as well.
Under normal rules, the MFP (SCR 2) will go to the Senate Finance Committee next, but it’s possible the Senate will suspend the rules to move it forward faster. Either way, the Senate must vote to approve the MFP and vote to amend the budget so it funds teacher and school employee pay raises. Next week will be crucial.
We must continue to push the Senators to put teacher and school employee raises at the top of their priority list.
In other good news…
On Thursday, May 25th two of LFT’s bills were reported favorably by the Senate Education Committee without objection. They will now proceed to a final vote by the full Senate:
✅ HB 21 (Stagni) Permits school boards to offer school support staff who have infants that are critically ill or who are expectant mothers and have no remaining extended sick leave to take up to 30 additional days of extended sick leave for maternal and child health. This extended sick leave is already available to teachers, but this bill would ensure all school employees have the same access to extended maternal health leave to care for their families.
✅ HB 348 (Jenkins) Changes the reporting requirements so that immediate action is taken to protect staff and students when there is a credible and imminent threat to an educator or student. The passage of this bill would help ensure that staff, students, and parents are notified of serious threats and that all credible threats are appropriately investigated.
✅ HB 205 (Bryant) successfully passed the full House on Monday, May 22nd with a vote of 93-4. This would require teachers to receive extra compensation when they work outside their job description. Teachers would be paid an hourly rate when participating in after-school activities involving students. This bill will now move to the Senate Education Committee on Monday.