NEW ORLEANS —
Thanks to State lawmakers, Louisiana Public School teachers will get a pay raise. This week legislators approved a measure that gives teachers and other certified personnel a $1,000 pay raise. Support workers will get a $500 raise.
This plan was the centerpiece of Governor John Bel Edwards’ agenda for this year’s legislative session. The Governor says pay raises will keep teachers in state and help address the teacher shortage.
For teachers, they say the pay increase is long overdue.
It may be summer break for gym teacher Santa Green-Harris, but she keeps her lesson plans close by. Green-Harris has been an educator for over a decade. Every time she meets a child, she adores them.
“I buy shoes. I buy socks, shirts. Anything else that they need," Green-Harris said.
Green-Harris says other teachers also go out of their way to help students, buying school supplies and supporting kids long after the bell rings.
“We’ve had teachers come out of their pockets to pay for flowers for a loved one who has passed away. And that’s the part of education and being a teacher that everybody else does not see,” Green-Harris said.
It’s a devotion many educators feel is finally getting some recognition after the house voted to give teachers a pay raise.
“It’s the first pay raise that staffers have had and teachers in over 10 years,” Kesler Camese-Jones said.
Camese-Jones is the Interim President for the Jefferson Federation of Teachers. She says the pay raise is a step in the right director. Just a few months ago, the federation helped pass a millage in Jefferson Parish that also gave employees a bump in their salary.
"We knew that in order to recruit and retain quality educators to our parish, we had to do something about our starting pay. Our present salary schedule...a teacher with a bachelor's would start at $41,199.00. With the passage of the millage, that starting salary, the base salary is $46,000,” Camese-Jones said.
Teachers will tell you they don’t do it for the money, but knowing there’s a raise waiting for them next school year, Green-Harris says will help them focus more on their students rather than their finances.
Read the full resolution here: http://www.legis.la.gov/legis/ViewDocument.aspx?d=1141941