How Do Teacher Salaries in Louisiana Stack Up?
SHREVEPORT, LA - Louisiana is losing ground on the battle to pay teachers. Educators in the Bayou State fall $12,000 below the national average and we are also lagging behind the southern regional average.
The average teacher salary in Louisiana is $52,472, more than $12,000 below the national average. Steven Procopio with the Public Affairs Research Council, says teacher salaries in Louisiana are among the lowest paid in the south. He says only Mississippi, Florida and Arkansas pay teachers less the Louisiana does.
He says Texas and Georgia are on the high end across the south.
One critical problem facing leaders is the shortage of teachers and Procopio was asked how long we can get away with low pay. He says that remains to be seen. But he says the bigger question is what is the amount we have to pay to keep quality teachers.
But the Louisiana Federation of Teachers is not happy that lawmakers did not pass a measure to increase pay.
Procopio says there’s also an equity issue when it comes to teacher salary in Louisiana. He says typically educators in larger cities make more than those in smaller towns, and in some cases, those in rural areas make just over half the state average. He says "we have to make sure all students have access to a quality education."
Teachers will be getting a one-time pay bump of $2,000, but the decision on how and when that is distributed is up to the local school districts.