Livingston Parish School teachers and employees could receive a raise, but voters will have final say
LIVINGSTON PARISH, La. (WAFB) - Employees at Livingston Parish Public Schools could soon be getting a pay raise.
The Livingston Parish Educational Facilities Improvement District’s Board of Directors approved placing a one-cent sales tax on voters’ ballots in March.
The board voted 8-1 for the measure, which calls for an across-the-board 10-percent pay raise for all employees or a minimum $2,500 yearly increase.
School staffing shortages are forcing the principal of Denham Springs Elementary to take matters into her own hands.
“And we still need to get the kids back and forth to school, to make sure that they get there. So, I’m driving a bus,” said Bridget Castille, the principal of Denham Springs Elementary.
It’s only whenever it’s absolutely necessary that she has to step up.
“I actually kind of enjoy it to be honest with you. It’s a change of pace, I get to see where the kids live,” said Castille.
But leaders with the school system say, there could now be a solution to the teacher and employee shortage. And a way to keep quality teachers in Livingston Parish.
“Because in order for us to increase the salary of our employees, we have to have a dedicated funding source to do that,” said Jody Purvis, assistant superintendent of Livingston Parish Public Schools.
Voters in March will decide on a one-cent sales tax, which would give a raise for all employees in the school system.
“It will be a 10 percent raise or with a $2500 floor (amount), added to every employee’s salary in our salary schedule book,” said Purvis.
The proposed one-cent sales tax will be exempted from all groceries, prescriptions, and fuel sales in the parish. Also, because the EFID is given “state of emergency” funding status by the State Legislature, the one-cent sales tax will not impact those sales taxes levied by local government political entities, according to the school system.
Right now, the starting salary for teachers in Livingston Parish is around $47,000.
- Pointe Coupee Schools - $48,442
- Ascension Schools - $48,783
- West Feliciana Schools - $50,272
- Iberville Schools - Over $55,000
“And if we’re not competitive, it’s very hard for us to get the quality teachers that we need,” said Purvis.
Meanwhile for Castille, she’s hopeful the raises will be a move in the right direction.
“Yes, they deserve this pay raise and so much more. This is to me, just a little bit that we can give them,” said Castille.
The proposal should be placed on your ballots on March 25, 2023.
The Livingston Federation of Teachers and School Employees released a statement on the subject:
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