Today, Gov. Edwards issued the following statement on the newly released report by the LSU Public Policy Research Lab showing overwhelming bipartisan support across the state for raising teacher pay and increasing the minimum wage. It shows nearly unanimous support among Louisiana residents with 88 percent backing a pay raise for teachers. Bipartisan support for raising the minimum wage is at more than 80 percent.
 
“This LSU survey highlights what we already know to be true: the majority of Louisianans, regardless of party affiliation, want to give our teachers a pay raise and increase the minimum wage. During this legislative session, state lawmakers have the opportunity to approve bills that will make both a reality.  They will be able to give our teachers and support staff a raise, the first in a series of steps to bring their salaries in line with those of their counterparts in other southern states, and allow the voters to decide whether to establish a minimum wage in our state. Our neighbors in Arkansas have already increased their minimum wage three times, most recently this year. The longer we wait, the further we fall behind and the more difficult it will be for our hardworking citizens to break the cycle of poverty. During the opening of session, I implored those lawmakers who have not supported raising the minimum wage in the past three years to let the people decide. It is the right thing to do.”
 
 
Here are details on bills in Gov. Edwards’ legislative package to raise teacher pay and establish a state minimum wage:
 
Raising Teacher Pay
SCR 3 by Sen. Blade Morrish, HCR 1 by Rep. Nancy Landry
Gov. Edwards’ number one priority for the 2019 legislative session is to take the first step in a multi-year plan and invest in K-12 schools, teachers, and school support personnel.
 
The governor’s proposal includes a $1,000 raise this year for teachers and a $500 increase for school support staff, who are essential to our children’s learning experience.
 
Louisiana’s classrooms have been neglected for too long. Historically, the per-pupil allocation received annual increases of 2.75%, but in the past ten years, it has happened only once.
 
Gov. Edwards supports a 1.375% increase in the per-pupil allocation in Level 1 of the MFP. The per pupil allocation can be used by districts to provide for greater investment in school supplies, books, smart boards and cutting edge technology to prepare our youth for the workforce of tomorrow. The extra dollars will also help to relieve the burden teachers are feeling of having to pay out of pocket for their school supplies.
 
TOTAL MFP INCREASE: $134.7 MILLION
  • Level 1 Per Pupil - $37.5M
  • Level 2 Raises (Teachers) - $72.2M (Impacts roughly 57,000 employees)
  • Level 3 Raises (Support Personnel) - $25.0M (Impacts roughly 39,000 employees)
 
Modest, but Meaningful Increase to the Minimum Wage 
SB 155 by Sen. Troy Carter
Gov. Edwards is seeking a modest, but meaningful increase to the minimum wage by supporting a constitutional amendment by Sen. Troy Carter to provide for a state minimum wage of $9.00 per hour in Louisiana effective July 1, 2020. 
 
The federal minimum wage of $7.25 per hour has not increased since 2009. Since then, the cost of goods has increased by 17 percent, which has had a significant impact on our families, communities and employers.