Louisiana House Approves $45.7 Billion Budget, Cuts Teacher Pay Raises

The Louisiana House of Representatives approved a budget plan that cuts a proposed raise for teachers.  ABC 31 News’ Joel Massey has some reactions from voters on the 2023 budget.

Louisiana’s proposed $45.7 billion state budget for the year was approved by the House, but one item that was cut was teacher pay raises of 2000 to 3000 per year.  The money instead will go to pay off an enormous amount of public employee retirement debt.

Some local taxpayers weighed in against the elimination of teacher pay raises.

Pineville Resident Jonea Page said, “The teachers work hard… because you have to look at how they are dealing with students at school and dangerous situations so what are we giving them to endure that.”

Pineville Resident Shelly Barton said, “I think it’s really sad and I think that our teachers deserve their pay raise.  My mom was a schoolteacher for many years and unfortunately that’s a big reason why college graduates do not go into teaching that much because the pay is not really great.  I know in the state of Louisiana it’s different prices everywhere, everybody gets different amounts of money, but the teachers deserve that increase in pay for sure.”

Pineville Resident Sal Salam said, “I think they should give it to the teachers the teachers do need it more than anything else.  We look at the teachers as the most important thing that we have in our life so that’s who needs to get that first.”

House Appropriations Chair Jerome Zeringue said that shifting the funding to lower teacher retirement debt would give local school districts control of how to spend it, including raises if they so choose.

“By freeing up the debt it’s going to allow for within the next two years over $258 million to locals to provide resources for teacher pay raises or work on facilities if they’d like to.”

Early childhood education will also have less dedicated funding than originally proposed.  One resident opposed the cut.

Page said, “I feel like our youth should be first.  I feel like they shouldn’t have done away with it they should have given it to the youth.”

Another resident felt that the early education funding was appropriate to cut.

Barton said, “I think that a lot of the preschool programs have that already but as far as the state being forced to pay for that I think that’s something that is not a big deal to us.  I think that when they get into school that’s whenever they are going to start needing those programs for the children at that age.  Three and four year olds maybe not so much.”

Legislators are also considering a 24 thousand hike to their own salary that would take effect next year.

Barton said, “I think that’s crazy.  I think that that’s not needed.  I think we elect these people, these people go into this job knowing what their pays going to be they’re here to help the people.  I think 24 thousand dollars to each of them and cutting the teacher’s salaries, that’s backwards.”

Shelly Barton wishes she saw more effort at job creation on the part of legislators.

“We gotta do something to keep our new college graduates here.  Our state cannot grow if we don’t have dedicated kids that want to come back home and they’re going to have to provide more job opportunities for people so as long as we’re working on jobs and making our economy flourish I think it’s a good job but at this point I’m not seeing a lot of new job creation at this time.”

Sal Salam sees much need for improvement of the state’s roads and highways and there is $340 million those projects.

“I’m in the car business and I see a lot of customers come in and most of the damage they get is because of the bad roads that they’re seeing.  They’re not really being maintained.  There’s a lot things that can be done especially going to bigger cites like Baton Rouge.”

The budget now heads to the state senate, and if they make any changes it will go back to the house for approval.

One thought on “Louisiana House Approves $45.7 Billion Budget, Cuts Teacher Pay Raises

  • May 9, 2023 at 7:12 pm

    Every body got a option but let’s look at some facts! The people at the top don’t care about the entire city…..Yes, crime is playing a big part of the city right now but the real problem is the city failure to find a solution…..some would argue that minimum wage don’t have anything to do with crime but that’s half truth..Increasing minimum wage helps the people that work in restaurants, fast food, waitress (live of tips) and cashiers. All place’s most people vist daily but wouldn’t dream for working in those places and mostly because of the pay… Facts is if your are single, in order to survive you need to have two jobs and a Hustle… most people working those jobs are in schools,or don’t have a GED or convicted but those jobs they live off tips…. But this is not the the frist time our city has denied a bill that would help this city rebuild. Facts…. marijuana legalization, multibillion-dollar industry denied ….. That bill alone would bring resources this city has never seen. It had the power to save the city..Help the Homeless,build Community centers for the kids with therapist… It’s still kids that want to be batter but we have to start somewhere or this city is doomed.They denied bills that can do real good because they don’t want to see the bigger picture…. D VS R it doesn’t matter In the end it’s never about what the people need. Facts….. But they get a raise how and why they tool the job knowing what the pay was… The nation pay rate been wrong for many many years but look what they do deny to fix a problem in order to Pay them self this is illegal they are in office for the people……


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