FRANKLIN, La. (KLFY) — Teachers in St. Mary Parish were some of the lowest paid in the state, but a new sales tax will give them a significant raise.
“We’re roughly $3,000 in average teacher salary below the state average, but yet academically our students perform at 17th in the state,” Superintendent Teresa Bagwell said.
Superintendent Bagwell says out of about 70 school districts in Louisiana, St. Mary parish is ranked 47th in average teacher salary.
They’re paid $3,000 to $6,000 less than teachers in other parishes.
A new 4.5 % sales tax will raise about $4 million a year, and that money that will go straight to the teachers.
“The recently passed sales tax will put St. Mary Parish in a more competitive salary scale with regional parishes. We were one of the lower paid parishes, both in beginning teacher salary and average teacher salary,” the superintendent said.
The sales tax is expected to give teachers an extra $3,000 every year.
“I think beyond the salary increase that this tax will give to our teachers, I think the bigger picture is that it gives them a sense of support from their community after they’ve endured and persevered through such difficult conditions this school year,” Superintendent Bagwell told News Ten.
She says the sales tax will also give support workers in St. Mary Parish schools an extra $1,500 a year.
The sales tax will go into effect this summer.