The second survey in LFT’s Six Weeks Six Surveys campaign asks teachers and school employees about their experience with School Safety.
Unfortunately, in many schools, safety for staff and students is a serious concern. Dilapidated and moldy buildings can cause long term health problems. Teachers and support staff face regular violence. For some, body armor is a normal part of their daily uniform. Students who need increased emotional support aren't getting the help they need and teachers are spending valuable educational time dealing with student behavior issues.
LFT is fighting for policies that keep students and staff safe. We need to hear from you about the solutions you want to see.
Today, the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education finalized their MFP Proposal – the funding formula for Louisiana Public Schools. LFT president Larry Carter testified before the board, highlighting the concerns of thousands of educators across the state who often consider leaving their job because of low pay and substandard working conditions. He asked the Board to improve upon what was recommended by the MFP Task Force and the Louisiana Department of Education (LDOE) and boost funding for teacher and school employee raises. He asked the board to pass a raise of at least $4,000 for teachers and $2,000 for school support staff.
With little discussion and no debate, the Board passed the MFP proposal recommended by LDOE. This MFP proposal would give teachers a $2,000 raise as well as certain teachers a $1,000 stipend (the stipend would apply to teachers who are in a critical shortage area, rated highly effective, working in high needs schools and/or those working as part of the teacher leadership team). Despite some media reports, this is not a $3,000 pay hike. A stipend isn’t guaranteed from one year to the next and it could be taken away for any number of reasons.
Last year, Louisiana passed a $1,500 raise for teachers and $750 for school support staff. It was an historic raise by Louisiana standards, but still significantly lower than increases passed in neighboring states. At the same time, LDOE passed a bill that forces teachers to pay a fee for a duplicate background check and the Office of Group Benefits increased premium costs, again.
LFT is already working to pass another pay increase. One that will actually make a difference in the lives of our teachers and school employees, but we want to hear from you!
Low pay is not the only thing driving teachers and school employees away from our classrooms, but it is an important factor. We want to hear about your experience. How have recent increases to insurance costs impacted your take home pay? How has inflation and increased costs of living impacted your ability to stay in this job?
This week, the Minimum Foundation Program (MFP) Task Force met to consider the 2023-2024 funding formula for Louisiana public schools. This task force makes a recommendation to the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education (BESE) about how to moderate the formula to provide for raises and/or school funding.
Next week, BESE will consider this recommendation and determine how large of a raise to include in their MFP proposal before sending it to the legislature for approval.
Learn more about what happened and how we can work together to push BESE to increase your raise.
Today, Governor Edwards released his proposed budget for the upcoming year. This outlines his spending priorities for the state, but it is only the first step. The budget will now go through the legislative process, where legislators will make adjustments to reflect their own priorities. We are pleased to see that the Governor did include pay raises for teachers and school employees in his proposal, but ultimately this amount still falls short of what is needed.
The Governor’s budget calls for a $2,000 increase for certified school employees and $1,000 for support staff, a total investment of