While it's a step in the right direction, the new state teacher raise package is not good enough, and Louisiana lawmakers should be ashamed of themselves.

Louisiana teachers rank at the bottom percentage of paid educators in the country. 2019 Louisiana State Teacher of the Year Spencer Kiper told KPLC Louisiana teachers are suffering from low wages, and any progress toward bridging the pay gap with other states is a step in the right direction. Kiper went on to say that Louisiana teachers have been let down for years with no pay raises and deserve to rewarded for their hard work.

The Louisiana House and Senate have both passed a $3.9 billion package to pay K-12 public teachers and staff more. Even though this amount of money looks very large at first glance, it doesn't work out to much more money in our educators' bank accounts. Even with the new pay raise in play, our teachers will still earn well below the national average.

In the new proposal, teachers, principals, and other certificated personnel will receive an $800/year pay raise starting July 1. Other school staffers like cafeteria workers and bus drivers will receive a $400/year pay raise.

Unless we start getting competitive with other states, especially Texas, we'll keep losing our best and brightest teachers for better pay elsewhere. Paying our teachers more is investing in our state's future. These public saints are molding our future leaders and workers.

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