Teachers union vexed at legislature’s failure to pass teacher pay raises. Questions state’s priorities.

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When the state legislature concluded its business last week, it avoided dealing out pay raises for teachers and school staff; opting instead to give one-time bonuses of $2000 per teacher, and $1000 for support workers. Louisiana Federation of Teachers Legislative Director Cynthia Posey says calling that “disappointing” is an understatement…:

“…and I think that we can speak for teachers and support staff statewide. In a year of unprecedented reoccurring revenue, that was recognized, to NOT invest in teachers and educators is almost a crime.”

Back in 2007, Louisiana teacher salaries reached the Southern Regional Education Board average, but have more-and-more trailed behind those other states in the years since. The state also has a shortage of certified educators. Posey says Louisiana needs to prioritize education funding, or face further losses. She says teacher feel disenfranchised…:

“Our surrounding states have invested heavily in education and educator pay, and I think that they (teachers) are really looking…A – ‘do I want to stay in Louisiana and teach?’ Or B – ‘do I want to stay in education period?’”

The House avoided a vote on a Senate resolution that would have funded the teacher pay raises; electing instead to give them another one-time stipend. Posey hopes lawmakers will see things differently next year…:

“We need to look at the decisions we make as a state, and decide to put education and children first.”

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