Sine Die: Legislators Pass Stipends for Teachers & School Employees – Not Raises!
In the final hours of the legislative session, the House chose not to take up SCR 2, the legislative instrument for the Minimum Foundation Program (MFP), the funding mechanism for K-12 education. This action ended any hopes of a permanent pay raise for educators this legislative session. Instead, the legislature chose to pay educators one-time stipends.
In an effort to appease educators, the body also included language in the preamble of the budget that asks future members of the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education (BESE) to include this year’s education funding in next year’s MFP. This will require future legislators and the future governor to do what this legislature would not: fund a permanent raise. Next year, Louisiana will have a new governor and many new legislators, so it is unclear whether or not they will honor the request to secure this year’s funding into next year’s MFP. If they do not, there will likely be little recourse for Louisiana’s educators and students.
The amount funded in the budget will give teachers a one-time stipend of $2,000 and support staff $1,000. Additionally, the budget contains $25 million for differential pay stipends for some teachers in “high needs areas,” as determined by local school boards. This stipend is also not guaranteed next year.