Bossier teachers excited for state raise but still pursuing better pay

State raise is a start, but Bossier says its efforts to improve teachers' pay will continue

BENTON, La. (KSLA) - K-12 teachers will received a $1,000 pay raise as part of the more than $30 billion budget Louisiana lawmakers approved for fiscal year 2020. According to our sister station KALB, lawmakers also have allocated new discretionary funds for their school district operation.

Bossier Parish schoolteachers have pushed for a pay raises for years.

In May, Bossier Parish voters rejected a property tax raise that would have given parish teachers a raise. A similar proposition that would have funded technology upgrades also failed.

These propositions caused disagreements among people in the parish.

Several business leaders were against both propositions because of the tax raises. Among them were the Bossier Chamber of Commerce, whose representatives spoke about the need to find another way to fund teacher pay raises.

If these propositions had passed, Bossier would have then have become competitive with other school districts.

Bossier Schools Superintendent Mitch Downey spoke about the raise during Thursday’s School Board meeting. “We appreciate the work of the governor and the Legislature. They recognize there’s a need there and are helping us address the need.”

Bossier School District officials said some of their teachers are in Baton Rouge advocating for pay raises.

Teachers are hopeful that the state is sending a message that they deserve higher pay.

Some say they understand they didn’t enter the profession to make money, but they want to earn a fair wage.

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