It’s not often that a bill gets unanimous approval in the Louisiana Legislature.        

But teacher pay raises did.

The 103-0 vote Monday opened up approval for $1,000 pay raises for teachers, $500 for support staff, and $39 million in discretionary monies for all school districts. This raises the per-student allocation from $3,961 to $4,015.

Republican lawmakers and Democratic Gov. John Bel Edwards had clashed over the proposal, but in the end it cleared in a very clean way.

The measure helps bring Louisiana in line with nearby, Southern states regarding teacher pay and helps those labor markets stay competitive.

This marks an especially big win for the local school system in Livingston Parish, in both the salary and discretionary spending categories.

As Livingston Parish continues to grow in population, the schools will require more teachers and space to meet student needs. School systems are being split among all types of learning methods – including regular, special needs, and even vocational.

That requires well-trained staff, technology, and requisite teaching space to make sure that students are receiving the most bang for the taxpayer buck.

For instance – the Denham Springs section of the school system decided to put Southside Elementary and Junior High on the same campus, transforming the old Southside Elementary into a vocational instruction school.

In order to maximize the facility’s potential, it will need to be staffed with well-trained teachers and the best – while also being affordable – technology.

Those goals are made easier with the passage of this new bill.

Yes, there are school systems in Louisiana that are underperforming. Yes, the Livingston Parish school system isn’t perfect.

But, the faculty and staff of every parish school – and the Central Office – are constantly working to improve technological offerings, school curriculums, and teaching methods to strike a delicate balance between school performance scores and true benefit to children.

Their efforts have made Livingston Parish schools, and the parish, one of the most desirable places to live in the state. If they aren’t worthy of a raise, who is?

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