BESE Board Approves Teacher Pay Raises for Legislative Approval

The Louisiana Board of Elementary and Secondary Education has approved a new funding formula for the 2023-24 school year that would give 2,000 dollar raises for certified teachers and 1,000 dollars for non-certified and support staff.  ABC 31 News Joel Massey has reactions from a local teacher and the Rapides Parish Superintendent.

“I think it means a lot.  It’s just a little bit of acclimation for the hard work that teachers put in every day with the cost of living teachers with families.  I also know that I as a teacher and other teachers we also invest a lot into our students and our classrooms so that will also help funding what we already spend in our classrooms.”

Acadian Elementary Kindergarten Teacher Karlin Ross thinks that a proposed teacher pay raise is needed across the state.  The BESE board has approved the proposal to give certified teachers a 2,000 dollar raise and non-certified staff 1,000 dollars.

“I think it helps us to be able to compete a little bit better with other jobs and to make our area appealing yes I do think having better pay will help to attract teachers.”

Rapides Parish School Superintendent Jeff Powel says that the raises are a great investment.

“Anything that continues to show a level of investment in arguably the single most important profession in our country is a great, great investment.”

Powel says the raises from the state would be in addition to the tax supplement check for Rapides Parish teachers.

“Last year we gave I believe it was right at $9,000 on top of that so a first-year teacher in Rapides Parish when you include the tax supplement check and the salary you’re talking close to $54,000 a year.”

Powel is appreciative of the support that Central Louisiana legislators have for teachers.

“We know the Central Louisiana contingent of legislators that work for us down in Baton Rouge fully support our educators I’m in regular contact with many of them and just thankful that they will have the opportunity to take this measure up and see what happens.”

Governor John Bel Edwards is encouraging lawmakers to approve the pay increases.

“Every year we talk about how we wish we could give them more and that they deserve more, and they absolutely do.  I think this year we need to make sure that our budget reflects that and let’s give them the largest raise I don’t know about ever, but as far back as I can look, they’ve never received a 3,000 dollar raise.”

Ross is hoping that the measure passes this month.

“It’s amazing to have the opportunity to have better teacher pay especially in our area and I hope that whatever needs to be done to get it passed I hope it happens.”

The final resolution that was approved by the BESE board on the teacher pay raises will be sent to the legislature for consideration by March 15.