On the Ballot

Our Views: Voters should back new Jefferson Parish teacher pay plan — a vital step forward

By Advocate Editorial

Source: The Advocate

April 18, 2019

Maybe it’s poor timing, but the leadership of Jefferson Parish has an important tax proposal for teacher pay on the ballot just as the Legislature is contemplating a $1,000 raise for teachers from the state.

The teacher pay raise state lawmakers are considering is a good idea. But we hope that Jefferson Parish voters will look at the local property tax on the May 4 ballot as the much more important step for schools that have been losing teachers to better-paying parishes. An across-the-board state raise does not help the competitive challenge for Jefferson Parish schools, where turnover is a long-standing problem among the faculty.

Staffing issues are driving the 10-year, 7.9 mill property tax proposal. To their credit, the school board and Superintendent Cade Brumley have crafted a plan that includes focusing the new money on getting teachers into the hard-to-staff schools.

The plan would make Jefferson competitive with its neighbors. It includes a more modern and targeted salary schedule that should serve students better.

New Jefferson schools plan: how administrators intend to boost test scores, district’s grade
The new plan is broadly backed by unions and business leaders and reflects the steadier hand of Brumley and a board that are trying to move beyond the administrative turmoil in Jefferson schools over the past few years. Objective analysts at the Bureau of Governmental Research also endorsed the plan.

Early voting begins Saturday. We hope that voters will see this new and much improved pay plan as a vital step forward for Jefferson schools and the future economic and social vitality of the parish and the region.

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