Will Louisiana teachers finally get pay raises?

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(Photo Credit: Courtesy of Danielle Couturier)

Published: Nov. 4, 2018

By: Sheridan Wall and Charlotte Bellotte, LSU Manship News Service

Danielle Couturier, an elementary teacher in suburban New Orleans, gets to school at 7 a.m. and often works on lesson plans until 10 p.m. But the 15-hour days are not enough to make ends meet. She also teaches summer school for extra pay.

Couturier, who has a master’s degree and 16 years of experience, makes $46,000 a year. After the first of her three children was born, she had to waitress on the weekends to earn more money.

“We put our blood sweat and tears and our whole hearts into this,” she said. “I don’t feel valued. I never have. But I’m OK with that because that’s not why I do it.”

Teachers like Couturier have long been willing to accept being underpaid. But now many are saying enough of that.

‘Extreme bipartisan support’

Educators in West Virginia, Kentucky, Oklahoma and Arizona reached a breaking point this year with a wave of walkouts and strikes over pay. And now, with teachers in Louisiana voicing concerns as well, Gov. John Bel Edwards’ top legislative priority is raising teacher pay by $1,800 to reach the average of just under $51,000 for Southern states.

Read more in the Daily Advertiser.

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