After hitting the Southern average for teacher’s salaries back in 2007, Louisiana has fallen behind. Teachers are now paid $1,700 less than other teachers in the region. With a one-billion-dollar shortfall, it’s unlikely any extra money will go towards the 47,000 public school teachers.
Legislative and Political Director for the Louisiana Federation of Teachers Cynthia Posey says the state’s teachers are lured away by higher wages elsewhere.
"They may go to say Texas, who pays a higher average, or they may leave the teaching force altogether and go to a different type of job."
Posey says teachers are in the profession to changes lives. She says even though it isn’t all about the money, they have bills to pay and families to take care of.
"They do it because they love teaching. And they're wonderful at educating our children, but again they have to be paid a fair wage."
Posey is hopeful that legislators find a way to keep elementary and secondary education fully funded while they seek a way to keep from falling off the fiscal cliff.
"We need to make sure we have a fair and more stable tax system and again to protect the statutory and constitutional dedication that fund public education in Louisiana."