This week, two major things happened with your raise, and two actions are needed to make sure you receive a raise.
#1: The Legislature has more money to spend in this year’s budget.
The Revenue Estimating Conference (REC) had their long anticipated meeting on Thursday. After hearing from the state’s economist, the REC adopted conservative revenue projections, recognizing $806 million in new general fund revenue.
#2: The Senate Education Committee rejected SCR 2.
On Thursday, the Senate Education Committee finally considered SCR 2, the legislative instrument for the Minimum Foundation Program (MFP), which is the K-12 funding formula. The MFP, along with the state budget (HB 1), is what will determine the teacher and school employee pay raise. They voted to reject the MFP proposal as it originally stands and send it back to BESE.
We need you to take TWO actions.
It’s Teacher Appreciation Week!
We are so grateful to all the teachers and school employees who show up for their students each day. Unfortunately, the Louisiana House of Representatives doesn't feel the same way.
Last week, they removed the pay raise for teachers and school employees from the state budget. Despite outcry from our state’s educators, they chose to prioritize pet projects and a marginal increase in debt repayment instead of giving a raise to our teachers and school employees. Now, the budget is in the Senate and they are debating what to do next.
The money is there, but so far, your legislators have refused to make teachers and school employees a priority. In order for you to receive a raise, the legislature must:
United Teachers of New Orleans stands in solidarity with members of the LGBTQ+ community and condemns all attacks on the freedom of our members, colleagues, students, and families to live their truths, express themselves fully, and enjoy the respect all cisgender heterosexual people receive when they are called by the names and pronouns they prefer.
The Louisiana House of Representatives has passed a budget that does not include any funding for teacher and school employee raises.
Despite outcry from our state’s educators, the Louisiana House of Representatives chose to prioritize pet projects over raises for teachers and school employees. They are using a complicated debt repayment system: they want to pay off a portion of their UAL debt and have you believe that your school districts will use those savings to give teachers and school employees a raise. To be clear, there are $0 allocated to teacher and school employee pay raises in the budget that the House passed this week.
Next week, the House Education Committee will consider three particularly important bills:
✅ HB 21 (Stagni) Would allow school boards to offer school support staff who have infants that are critically ill or who are expectant mothers and have no remaining extended sick leave to take up to 30 additional days of extended sick leave for maternal and child health. This extended sick leave is already available to teachers, but this bill would ensure all school employees have the same access to extended maternal health leave to care for their families.
✅ HB 205 (Bryant) Would require teachers to receive extra compensation when they work outside their job description. Teachers would be paid an hourly rate when participating in after-school activities involving students.
✅ HB 348 (Jenkins) Changes the reporting requirements so that immediate action is taken to protect staff and students when there is a credible and imminent threat to an educator or student. The passage of this bill would help ensure that staff, students, and parents are notified of serious threats and that all credible threats are appropriately investigated.
SEND A LETTER TO THE HOUSE EDUCATION COMMITTEE
Legislators are currently working to find any excuse to avoid funding a permanent raise for teachers and school employees this session. The truth is simple: the funding is available! The only question is whether or not legislators are willing to make teachers and school employees a priority.
In an election year, lawmakers like to brag about the increases to teacher and school employee pay passed in recent years. Still these marginal increases haven’t kept up with neighboring states. Louisiana has continued to fall further behind the Southern Regional Average for teacher pay. Moreover, Office of Group Benefits (OGB) premium increases have outpaced raises passed by the legislature. Last year, teacher and support staff pay was increased by an average of 3%, but OGB increased rates by 4.5%. This is on top of the rising cost of living which impacts educators every time they buy groceries for their families or pay for a tank of gas.