Sunday, June 26, 2005

Teacher pay still at issue

An Associated Press article in Friday’s Advocate raised the issue of Louisiana’s declining teacher salaries (relative to national trends) and the possible need for a special legislative session to address the issue. Meanwhile, Louisiana's Public Affairs Research Council discussed the legislative session, devoting some attention to the teacher salary issue. According to PAR, the $530 “pay raise” for teachers “should be considered a one-time bonus.” A “bonus” is not a “pay raise,” no matter how you look at it. A new report issued by the National Education Association indicates Louisiana has one of the nation’s lowest average teacher salaries -- U.S. average is $46,752; LA average is $37,918 -- despite a 14.3% increase in Louisiana teacher salaries since the 1993-1994 school year. In response to the NEA report and the disappointments of the legislative session, the Louisiana Federation of Teachers is calling for a special session. Finally, see this list of news both good and bad about Louisiana’s schools. The good news is encouraging. The bad news just demonstrates that no matter how rigorous the accountability regime, there’s always a downside to playing politics with education.