Most Louisianans support raising teacher salaries and increasing the state minimum wage to $8.50 an hour, according to the third of six reports from the 2019 Louisiana Survey. Both are issues championed by Gov. John Bel Edwards that will likely be raised during the legislative session, which began yesterday.
Support generally depends on how each issue is framed. Overall, 88% of Louisiana residents back a teacher pay raise, a sentiment shared among 90% of Democrats and Independents and 80% of Republicans. But when it comes to increasing taxes to fund the raise, support is cut to 63% overall.
Moreover, 81% of respondents support an $8.50-an-hour minimum wage, with majority support coming from Democrats (94%), Independents (78%) and Republicans (72%). However, support drops to 59% when it’s set at $15 an hour, and only Democrats maintain majority support (85%), as Republicans (44%) and Independents (46%) fuel the drop.
Other key findings about teacher pay include:
• Two-thirds of Louisianans say they have a good deal of confidence or a very great deal of confidence in the state’s public school teachers
• Three-quarters of people surveyed believe teachers earn less than they actually earn
• There is more support for uniform pay across the board than for proposals to give larger raises to teachers who work in schools or subjects with teacher shortages
The findings come from the third of six reports from the Louisiana Survey, a project of the Manship School’s Reilly Center for Media & Public Affairs and conducted by the Manship School’s Public Policy Research Lab.
Read the full report from the Louisiana Survey. The fourth report will be released on Thursday.