Will Louisiana Teachers Get a Raise?

By Evelina Rivers
Published June 26, 2023

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Will Louisiana Teachers Get a Raise?

As the cost of living continues to rise, Louisiana teachers struggle to make ends meet despite their critical role in shaping the futures of our children and communities. Amidst this backdrop, there is a glimmer of hope for educators as the state legislature considers proposals to increase teacher salaries. However, the prospect of a raise is not without its challenges, and many are wondering if this is finally the year that Louisiana teachers will get the salary boost they deserve. In this blog post, we’ll take a closer look at the current state of teacher salaries in Louisiana and explore the proposed changes that could affect educators’ paychecks.

Louisiana teachers have been in the spotlight recently and over the past years due to ongoing discussions surrounding their salaries. Currently, Louisiana teachers make significantly less than the national and regional averages, causing issues with retention and recruitment throughout the state. While there have been attempts in the past to increase teacher salaries, they have been met with limited success, resulting in ongoing discussions among lawmakers, educators, and the public about how to address this ongoing issue.

Brief history of teachers’ salary in Louisiana

Louisiana teachers have struggled with low salaries for decades. In the early 2000s, the average salary was just over $34,000, which was significantly less than the national average. In recent years, efforts have been made by politicians like Governor John Bel Edwards to increase teacher pay. In 2019, a pay raise of $1,000 was approved for teachers, but even with this raise, Louisiana teachers’ salaries still lag behind the national average. The most recent proposal includes a temporary stipend of $2,000 for teachers, but many are hoping for a more permanent and meaningful increase in salary.

Current state of Louisiana’s education system

The current state of Louisiana’s education system is concerning. According to recent statistics, Louisiana ranks 41st in the nation for educational quality. Many schools in the state struggle with low test scores and high dropout rates. Additionally, the COVID-19 pandemic has only exacerbated these issues. With the low salaries of Louisiana teachers and the high cost of living in the state, it’s difficult to attract and retain quality educators. Addressing these issues should be a top priority for the state’s leaders.

Low salaries of Louisiana teachers

The low salaries of Louisiana teachers have been a long-standing issue. In the 2022-2023 school year, the average teacher salary in Louisiana was only $52,600, which is $4,000 less than the average across 16 southern states and a staggering $15,000 less than the national average. Despite the recent $1,500 raise and the proposed $2,000 stipend for Louisiana teachers, the state’s average pay for teachers remains below the regional average. This low salary has a significant impact on teacher retention and recruitment in the state.

Cost of living in the state

One of the reasons that teacher salary in Louisiana is a major concern is due to the cost of living in the state. Though Louisiana’s average cost of living is 8% lower than the national average, the cost of living in most of living in areas with a population of more than 30,000 is at the average making it more difficult for teachers to afford basic necessities and meet their expenses. This contributes to teacher dissatisfaction and high turnover rates, which ultimately impact the quality of education in the state. Despite the recent $2000 stipend for teachers, the issue of low salaries in the state remains a pressing concern that needs to be addressed.

Effect of low salary in teacher retention and recruitment

Low teacher salaries have a significant impact on teacher retention and recruitment in Louisiana. Many teachers are forced to leave the state or leave the profession altogether due to financial constraints. This results in a shortage of experienced teachers and a struggle to attract new, highly qualified teachers to the state. Increasing teacher salaries can help improve retention and recruitment, as it not only makes teaching in Louisiana a more attractive option for current and prospective teachers, but also helps to retain experienced educators who might otherwise leave for higher-paying jobs in other states.