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Editorial: It's time to invest in livable wages for Louisiana's dedicated school professionals


No change happens overnight; but in Louisiana, it’s far past time to look at prioritizing money spent on resources that support our public school students and the education professionals to whom we entrust our children. How have we gone nearly a decade without increasing the pay of our dedicated teachers, paraprofessionals, secretaries, school counselors, custodians, bus drivers, food service providers, and all school employees who help build our children’s future? How can we say we want the best for students if we don’t value the work of the very individuals who provide them with a path to educational success?

The current reality of frozen funding for public education is unacceptable. Do not let any law or policymaker tell you otherwise. It is up to us - the taxpayers and members of our school communities - to hold our elected officials accountable for investing in public schools. Of course, investing in our schools means dedicating dollars for 21st-century learning tools in our classrooms, updating school facilities, and providing health and wellness services for our students. But just as important, it means investing in livable wages that honor those who serve Louisiana’s public school students. These women and men deserve the ability to thrive – whether they are leading classroom lessons, assisting parents, providing needed student services, planning for and preparing nutritious meals, or delivering children safely to and from school. It’s crucial that we show all public school employees their value amongst other professionals, and it’s past time to pay them competitive salaries for their important work. 

The Louisiana Association of Educators is committed to fighting for school employee pay increases. Through the #RedforEd initiative - a national education movement gaining momentum here in Louisiana - we hope to raise public awareness about the need to prioritize public school funding – for our committed educators, for the future of public education, and for the good of the children of this state.

Debbie Meaux
Teacher/President of The Louisiana Association of Educators
 


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