More money coming for Lafayette teachers, other school employees

Photo Credit: The Daily Advertiser

LAFAYETTE, LA. (The Daily Advertiser) – The Lafayette Parish School Board has approved a one-time stipend for teachers and a salary increase for all full-time employees.

The stipend of $1,647 will be paid to teachers in October. It comes from the excess of a sales tax first approved in 2002, once other allocations are made.

The decision came after a lengthy debate about whether to include the money in the teacher salary schedule, rather than paying it in one lump sum.

“When we passed the tax, we told the parish and our voters that this was going to go into salary for faculty,” said retired teacher Melinda Mangham. “For us not to put it into salaries, we’re not doing what we told the public we would do.”

However, board members said they received dozens of emails from current teachers who want the lump sum. For example, Britt Latiolais said he received “150 to 200” emails on the topic, with about 90 percent from teachers who preferred the one-time payment.

“You have to look at where we are sitting,” Latiolais said. “We get this many teachers saying they want the lump sum. It’s their money.”

The board has historically made such one-time stipends to teachers each fall.

Meanwhile, the board also agreed to use $2 million for a step salary increase for all full-time school district employees and a pay-for-performance stipend for employees who are evaluated using the Compass system.

The increase will be effective as of July 1, 2017. The money is coming from sales tax collections that were above initial projections.

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