When Governor Edwards revealed his proposed budget for the fiscal year that would begin in July funds are earmarked for teacher raises of $1,500 and for support staff $750. President of the Louisiana Association of Educators Dr. Tia Mills said it’s a step in the right direction.
“It’s truly a gesture of good faith to show that they are being appreciated. We definitely are going to continue to move forward and get to the southern regional average. That’s our goal,” said Mills.
Even before the pandemic, Louisiana was experiencing a teacher shortage and the demands of COVID prompted even more to leave the profession. In the last legislative session, the Teacher Recruitment, Retention, and Recovery Task Force was formed, and Mills said the shortage is due to multiple factors.
“I can say that salary is not the only issue here. This is a profession that is an honorable one and one that should be treated as such,” said Mills.
The proposed raises of $1,500 and $750 for teachers and support staff, respectively could increase if the Revenue Estimating Conference recognizes additional funds. Dr. Mills said she’s looking forward to the session.
“If the Revenue Estimating Conference does do that it’s another huge win for educators,” said Mills.
Lawmakers will discuss the budget during the regular session that begins in March. Final approval of the state’s budget will most likely happen in early June.