LAFAYETTE, La. (KLFY) — Governor John Bel Edwards’ proposal to increase the pay of k-12 teachers and staff is facing controversy.

News Ten’s Rodricka Taylor is digging into how this proposal will affect Acadiana teachers.

For teachers in schools throughout Acadiana, the salary increase is needed and welcomed but the increase would still mean teachers will earn less than teachers in our neighboring states

“If ever there was a time to invest in education it’s now,” said Gov. John Bel Edwards.

Retired Louisiana Teacher Juanita Hall agrees.

“This raise is important, it means a lot and our teachers are valued and they need to be valued and they need to know their value,” said Juanita Hall, President (APEL) Associated Professional Educators of Louisiana.

The governor’s proposes:

– $1500 raises for kindergarten through high school teachers.

– School support staff will get $750 raises.

– Totals an increased budget of $148.4 million.

It also calls for $31.7 million dollars for higher education faculty raises.

“Everybody should be in the gumbo pot of increase for this pay raise. Everybody is a key component to the education of our students,” she said.

Hall is a newly retired teacher. She was in the classroom for the past 31-years. She said she knows about the efforts teachers put in for their students.

“They’re the classroom warriors. They bring the sword and shield of education and learning towards our students,” she added.

She says the pay increase should also go to the school support staff.

“Not only should we think about our beautiful teachers but we should think about the support staff who’s there for them in the schools who work hard in the schools along with our teachers,” Hall said.

She says this increase will hopefully bring some encouragement teachers need.

“What they’re going through; it’s a lot right now, and trying to keep children safe and educated is a hard job.” Hall said.