NEW IBERIA, La. — Members of the Iberia Parish School Board voted to put a freeze on salary increases during a committee meeting on Monday, which will now go to the full board on Wednesday night.
According to board's meeting agenda, there is an item that considers the possibility of temporarily putting a freeze on salary step increases, which are given to employees based on years of experience, that are due July 1 and for the board to take appropriate action.
According to Superintendent Carey Laviolette, the freeze is due to the financial impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic, and would affect all employees who have not reached their maximum years of service if the item is approved.
Laviolette says the freeze would be for one year if economic conditions do not improve and the district experiences a decrease in state funding from student losses.
If the financial impact from the COVID-19 Pandemic is not as predicted, she says, the freeze would be removed later in the year and salary adjustments would be retroactive from July.
Asked what potential actions the board could take on the item at Wednesday’s meeting, Laviolette says that the board could approve the freeze with the intent to revisit it later in the fall or they could not approve the freeze at all.
The board is also working to prepare multiple reopening plans for the 2020-21 school year.
The Louisiana Department of Education is expected to release guidance later this month to local schools on how to reopen to students in the fall.
Laviolette says their plan must consider providing 1:1 electronic devices, internet connectivity, teacher professional development, transportation and safety measures.
“We are awaiting the LDOE final reopening guidelines at the end of the month,” she said in an email response. “It seems inevitable that school districts face tremendous challenges for the 2020-21 school year.”
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