Teacher Salaries Below Southern Average

March 23, 2007
Reported by: Associated Press

Louisiana's teacher salaries fall $2,469 below the Southern regional average, but that gap would be nearly closed by Gov. Kathleen Blanco's teacher pay raise proposal, according to the latest state education estimates adopted.

The state's average teacher pay for the 2006-07 year is $42,700. The Southern average is $45,169.

Blanco is proposing spending $158 million on a $2,375 pay raise for public school teachers in her budget for the upcoming fiscal year -- but she also said she would push to shuffle other dollars around in the $29.2 billion spending plan until teachers get to the Southern average.

Another estimated $2 million would be needed to hit the average, plus more if the number of teachers increases in New Orleans and other hurricane-hit areas of the state, according to David Ray, a state Senate budget analyst and a member of the Education Estimating Conference, which adopted the state's latest estimates.