Teacher Pay Raises: Where’s the Money Coming From?
Yes, we know our headline is grammatically incorrect. That's because a teacher in a Louisiana public school taught us a long time ago that you don't end a sentence with a preposition.
Now, teachers in Louisiana could see pay raises if the legislature signs off on Governor John Bel Edwards's plan to bump teacher pay by a minimum of $1,500. Under the governor's plan, school support staff would also see a pay bump of at least $750.
The idea of a teacher and support staff pay bump is one educators and many Louisianans will support. One question remains: From where will the money come to pay for those raises?
Here's a quick breakdown of the funds that, under Governor Edwards's plan, could be used to pay for the raises:
- $700 million from better-than-expected tax collections from the previous fiscal year.
- $1.6 billion from better-than-expected tax collections during the current fiscal year.
- $1.4 billion will come from unspent federal COVID aid.
However, according to the governor's budget, none of those funds will be tapped to pay for education. Instead, Gov. Edwards plans to use excess money in the general fund to pay for the teacher and support staff raises. According to the governor's office, the state has $800 million more in in the general fund now than it did this at time last year.
The state will take $148.4 million to pay for the K-12 educator raises. In addition, the state will invest another $102.8 million in higher education, including $31.7 million for instructor pay raises. Another $47.5 million will be invested early childhood education. The state would get an addition $25 million for early childhood education through matching funds from the Minimum Foundation Program.
For a full look at what's in Governor Edwards's budget and to see the Public Affairs Research Council's analysis of the budget, keep scrolling.