The latest round of projections show Louisiana officials would have to come up with about a $1,700 raise next year to keep teacher pay at the Southern regional average. State officials have long sought to get teachers to the Southern average and reached that goal last year after years of trying. The state is largely expected to maintain that position this year but would need to plow more money into teacher pay next year to keep it there. That’s a tall order in a tight budget year, when the state faces significant shortfalls.
The state’s Education Estimating Conference says Louisiana’s average public school teacher pay is expected to be about $48,500 for the current 2008-09 school year, slightly shy of the projected $48,981 Southern average. Next year’s Southern average is projected to be $50,200.