Teacher salary raises should be implemented across the state of Louisiana

Michael Chen, General Associate

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From Los Angeles, California, to Charleston, West Virginia, teachers across the nation have been going on strike to protest their low salaries. In Louisiana, Governor John Bel Edwards has introduced an initiative to implement $1,000 raises for this year’s legislative session. In doing so, Edwards hopes to eliminate the disparity between Louisiana and other southern states regarding average teacher pay.

Edwards’ push, however, is being met with various blocks. Other states are also raising the average teachers’ salary, forcing Louisiana into a cycle where it can never seem to catch up. Republican members of the state legislature have also voiced opposition, calling for local governments to take up the initiative instead. Other voices claim that the governor has not been putting enough into the salary increase and believe it will still leave a large gap between Louisiana teachers’ wages and those in the rest of the South.

Ashley Chen | Views Layout Editor

Due to these conflicting political opinions, the true goal of these initiatives almost fades out of mind. Teachers have arguably one of the most important jobs in today’s generation. In a world where education, especially the accumulation of degrees, is widely regarded as a necessity, teachers are essential in sharing their knowledge to their students, and they should be properly compensated.

In a poll conducted by The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research, it was discovered that “Americans overwhelmingly believe teachers don’t make enough money, and half say they’d support paying higher taxes to give educators a raise.” Teachers, especially those in Louisiana, need more pay to fit the demands of their job. An increased demand for education has helped to improve society throughout history, and, as a result, teachers deserve to make a livable wage as the foundation to our education system.

Furthermore, increasing their salaries would encourage teachers to take on extra incentives for school and give them more motivation in making a positive impact on their student’s lives. Many teachers take the extra mile, spending time outside of school to mentor their students and promote their successes. Most of this work is not required in their job descriptions.

By keeping salaries stagnant, states harm teachers, which in turn hurts the children who live there.