NewsLafayette Parish


State Legislatures Propose $37 Billion budget, could increase teacher pay

Posted at 9:03 PM, Apr 20, 2022
and last updated 2022-04-21 00:04:44-04

Louisiana house lawmakers released a more than 37 billion dollar spending plan that would bring more than a billion dollars in federal pandemic aid, give teacher pay raises, and millions on local pet projects.

This multi-billion-dollar dollar budget would increase the salaries of K-12 school teachers, clinicians who work with disabled children, and early childhood education initiatives would also receive an increase.

Higher education would vary—however elementary and secondary school teachers would get a 1,500 raise while support staff would receive 750 dollars, spread across the year.

Some educators like, Educator Rising Collegiate chapter faculty advisor, Dr. Aimee Barber, says it’s a step in the right direction.

"As long as we see this raise as an awesome opportunity to acknowledge the hard work that teachers are doing, but also to make sure that the raise is part of a more comprehensive plan to really address some of the working conditions that we know are contributing to why teachers are leaving. Then, as long as it's part of that big plan, then we're very excited about it,” Barber said.

However some also question if this will be enough for educators to effectively perform their jobs and compete with other states.

KATC spoke with the UL College of Education Dean, Dr. Nathan Roberts, who says increasing salaries and resources is one of the most important things the state needs right now.

“If the Legislature thinks that they’re going to give them 1500 now and we’re not going to have to worry about it for about another five or ten years. I think that’s a false assumption. Texas and other schools. The lowest paying jobs are seven to eight, ten thousand more than Louisiana ones. If we don’t up our numbers we’re going to lose these professionals. To other states.”

Although Roberts also believes the raise would be beneficial he says schools need their own fund to supply classrooms.

“You get a tax benefit or something for spending your own money for building up your classroom. That’s not what teachers need. They need a fund that pays for them to get all of the supplies that their classroom needs. You wouldn’t ask anybody else anywhere to pay for their own stuff. And to pay for their kids' stuff. Just so they could teach,” Roberts added.

Educators say their work conditions are often overlooked. However, they encourage lawmakers to invest in the future of what breeds all professions.

"Some of the legislation that is on the table right now is actually going to add to the workload and to this frustrations. So I do ask that our legislators really call on teachers before making any decisions and ask them what they think because they have a lot of ideas to share,” Barber added.

The full house will debate the budget package Thursday.

Stay in touch with us anytime, anywhere.

To reach the newsroom or report a typo/correction, click HERE.

Sign up for newsletters emailed to your inbox. Select from these options: Breaking News, Evening News Headlines, Latest COVID-19 Headlines, Morning News Headlines, Special Offers

Follow us on Twitter

Like us on Facebook

Follow us on Instagram

Subscribe to our Youtube channel