St. James teacher pay raise puts parish in top five

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, July 22, 2008


Staff Reporter

LUTCHER – The St. James Parish School Board at its meeting unanimously approved a significant employee salary increase in passing its new budget for the 2008-2009 fiscal year.

The board voted to increase first-year instructors’ annual salaries from $41,679 to $45,057. Under the new salary schedule which has been compressed from 40 years to 35, experienced teachers could receive raises as high as 8 percent depending on years worked and certification.  

The proposal also condenses several secretarial positions that have not always been filled.

The increase –  5.5 percent on average across the board – puts St. James Parish among the top five parishes in Louisiana for average teacher salaries, said St. James Parish Public Schools Public Relations Coordinator Marlon Reed.

“The magnitude of pay increases included in this proposed salary schedule is virtually unprecedented,” said Jim Mitchell, St. James Parish Public schools administrative director of business finance.

“It makes a big statement that the board stepped up and made the increases across the board,” Superintendent Lonnie Luce said in a statement.  “It will help us tremendously with employee moral as we continue to strive to improve this school district.”

Teacher aide positions are also included in the increase.

At the meeting, the board also approved a revised school calendar and student policy manual.