State Representative Nancy Landry says she fully supports teachers making more money. Landry wants the pay increase to be $1,815 instead of the governor’s proposed $1,000.
“We’re 9th out of 16 states. I think it’s time that we pay our teaches and prioritize our spending to show we do prioritize education in Louisiana,” Rep. Landry says.
Landry figures it will cost about $105 million to give the increase to teachers and $19 million for school principals and other certified workers.
She says the money to pay for the raise would come from sales tax dollars generated from internet purchases and not from a tax increase. “We don’t want to raise additional taxes to do this. We are still suffering in the economy in Acadiana especially. So we don’t want to raise taxes,” Landry says.
Jonathan Cole teaches at Lafayette High and the president of the Lafayette Parish Association of Educators.
Cole says the governor’s offer at least opens the door for discussion. “We have difficulty keeping teachers. We lose hundreds of teachers to other states where the pay is better,” Cole adds.
According to reports, the Louisiana average pay for a teacher is about $49,800; the southern average is about $51,616; the national average is calculated at $59,660.
“Part of the equation is to attract the best people to work with our children,” Cole states.