Despite a pay raise for teachers last year, the average salary for a Louisiana educator remains below the southern regional average. Governor John Bel Edwards has indicated it may take the rest of his term to hit that target. Louisiana Federation of Teachers President Larry Carter says teachers can’t wait that long.

“That’s something that we just can’t have.  I want to make sure that keep teachers here in our state, especially those teachers who know our students and know our communities, they live in the communities.  I would hate to have them leaving.  We’ve been hearing that,” said Carter.

The LFT will pressure lawmakers for an additional pay bump.  Carter says the teachers would love nothing more than to have the upcoming legislative session that begins in March to lock in a meaningful pay raise.

“Have legislators and the Governor come together to make sure that we make a commitment to continue getting teachers to the southern regional average and, to be quite frank, go beyond that because we believe that they do deserve that compensation,” said Carter.

Louisiana’s average teacher pay is just over $50,000, about $1,800 shy of the regional average and Carter says it is important to close that gap now.

“This is going to be a moving target if we don’t sustain not just what we have, but the need to gain more.  And I know last cycle, during the legislative session it was right around $1,800.  We got $1,000 for teachers and $500 for school employees,” said Carter.

The state has about 50,000 public school teachers.