The House will discuss a state budget today that includes a teacher pay raise, but not 39 million dollars requested by the Governor for increased public education funding.

Louisiana Federation of Teachers Legislative Director Cynthia Posey has some problems with the current budget, starting with the fact that she says the “raise” isn’t really a raise…

“It just puts the pay raises in as one time, so we don’t really consider them pay raises, we consider them stipends.”

The budget includes a 1,200 raise, or stipend, depending on who you ask, for teachers and a 600 dollar raise for support personnel.

Posey says she’s highly concerned about the lack of additional funding, first, because without the money additional costs like higher workman’s comp and unemployment benefits would be passed onto teachers, cutting into the raise. Second, she says our schools need new investment.

“They could do a better job and reach the high standards required of them if they had current textbooks if they had the technology they need for the students to take the test, If they had buildings that weren’t crumbling.”

Posey says instead of the House proposal, her union is still backing the governor’s initial request for a permanent 1,000 dollar raise for teachers, a permanent 500 dollar support personnel raise, and 39 million in new funding.

“We believe that teachers believe a lot more, but we are very cognizant of where we are as far as the budget goes, this is the first time in over a decade that we have a surplus.”

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