Members of the Iberia Parish Association of Educators met with Louisiana’s Speaker of the House Taylor Barras Monday to discuss pay raises for teachers and support staff in the state.
Speaker Barras sits on the committee in Baton Rouge working on approving a budget.
In it, Gov. John Bel Edwards wants to see a pay increase for teachers and support staff.
Barras has voted against a budget that includes the raise for teachers, which is something they haven’t seen in 12 years.
“We are just trying to get a pay raise for every public school educator,” says Cammie Maturin, a member of the Iberia Parish Association of Educators.
When asked if she thinks a raise is well deserved she said, “It’s overdue.”
Maturin and others with the Iberia Parish Association of Educators want answers from Barras as to why a budget that includes a pay raise for public school teachers hasn’t been approved.
“He is the only one, and it is a bipartisan effort, but he is the only one that keeps voting it down no matter what representative he sends there, it’s a no vote in his seat,” Maturin said.
The raise would mean $1,000 more for teachers and $500 more for support staff per year. “Once you divide by 12 months and take everything out that’s probably about $40 a month,” Maturin said. “Which isn’t a whole lot of a raise, but it’s more than what we’ve seen in 12 years.”
After the meeting with the teachers Barras said he was open to having a conversation about the raises.
He said he wants to see exactly where the money will go and how the Department of Education will appropriate those funds. He says right now it is not specific enough for him to approve a budget.
On March 25. in New Iberia, the Iberia Parish Association of Educators will hold a march before lawmakers go back into session. They will meet at City Park from 3:30 p.m. to 5 p.m.
They ask those who attend to wear red to show their support for funding public education.