Livingston Parish schools increases stipends for teachers, staff

LIVINGSTON – The Livingston Parish school board has voted to increase teacher stipends for the 2023-2024 school year. 

In a letter to staff, superintendent Joe Murphy told teachers performance-based stipends would be increased by at least $100. Teachers who score an effective emerging will receive a $200 stipend, effective proficient teachers will get $300 and highly effective would double to $600. 

The district will also match the $2,000 stipend approved by the legislature for certified personnel and $1,000 for classified personnel. 

State lawmakers approved teacher stipends to be issued on October 12, 2023. The parish’s match of the stipend would not be issued to all full-time active employees until the end of the school year on May 3, 2024.

“Our teachers and support staff workers are most worthy of these added dollars,” Murphy said. “It is not secret that our district faced a disappointing loss in the spring when we did not gain the support we needed for an across-the-board 10% raise to allow our district to compete for the best employees; but that loss has not diminished this administration’s effort to find ways to reward our people.”

In March, voters in Livingston Parish rejected a one-cent sales tax that would have funded an historic pay raise for teachers and staff. The parish-wide ballot item failed 54% to 46%. The tax, which school leaders recognized was an uphill battle, was touted as a way to solve a growing problem with not only retaining qualified teachers but also recruiting high qualified educators to the parish.

Livingston Parish has been forced to fill hundreds of open teacher and staff positions as experienced educators leave for either higher paying jobs in neighboring districts or leave the industry altogether. The average salary for a first year teacher in Livingston Parish is $47,117, ranking last among five neighboring districts — Ascension Parish, Central Community Schools, East Baton Rouge Parish, Tangipahoa Parish and Zachary Community Schools.

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