Salary increase or supplemental check for LPSS teachers?

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LAFAYETTE, La. (KLFY)- On Monday, a Lafayette Parish School System committee has agreed to recommend to the school board the estimated $1,902 supplemental check for teachers in October — but put in place funding plans to consider a potential pay increase in the future.

Melinda Mangham has been in education for 50 plus years and is a Blue Ribbon Committee member. Mangham says she was active in the passing of the 2002 sales tax that pays for the supplemental check teachers have been getting every year.

She says the intent for the tax is to help the parish to be among the top six parishes in the state in terms of teacher pay.

“The original intent is that it would be in their salary every year. It only has gone into salaries a couple of years,” Mangham said.

Mangham as a committee member is pushing for the salary increase as opposed to the one time check. “That’s what we told the public we were going to do when we passed that tax,” Mangham noted.

“That money stays with you. It’s not a one time thing. Getting the 13th check is a one time thing,” Mangham said.

The president of the Lafayette Parish Association of Educators, Julia Reed says the association’s position is for the salary increase.

“We like as much to have the money be built into the salary as possible; because it’s not as much at risk in an economic downturn.”

Reed says increases factor into retirement money — supplemental checks don’t.

“Some teachers might feel that I might not be in this profession at retirement age. They might be looking to be looking to exit the profession before retirement age. So, they might want to their lump sum check every year since they won’t get the benefit of the retirement average,” Reed explained.

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