State Superintendent of Education John White says it's time to start paying the state's teachers more money. As a guest on Talk Louisiana with Jim Engster Thursday morning, White discussed the recovery of the economy and increased stability in the budget, now is the time to make sure teacher’s pay is keeping up with competition in other states and other industries.

White says the message is very clear.

“We have to increase teachers’ pay, it has to happen now. We have to consider as we do that, how we’re being sensitive to teachers most in demand,” states White.

White says Louisiana was at the southern regional national average as recently as just a few years ago, but recently has fallen behind.

“The funding formula for K-12 has increased, but it has not increased at a rate necessary to keep up with our competitors,” adds White.

White says the state has the biggest need in STEM teachers, adding the biggest demand for talent isn’t other states school systems, it’s other industries.

“It’s competing with Exxon and Chevron and all of these extraordinary organizations that recruit math and science majors into their organizations and pay them lucrative salaries.”

More From News Talk 96.5 KPEL