The Livingston Federation of Teachers and School Employees has conducted a survey of Livingston Parish School Board Employees to assess their support of the proposed sales tax. The one cent sales tax will come before Livingston voters on March 25th, and would result in a 10% raise for the teachers and school employees of the Livingston Parish School Board.
Over 80% of the employees surveyed said they support the proposed sales tax and 88% of employees plan to vote in the March 25th election. The overwhelming majority of employees who support the proposal pointed towards the need for raises. Livingston Parish teachers are underpaid compared to surrounding parishes and there hasn’t been a new sales tax dedicated to employee raises in thirty-six years. Teachers and school employees have had to wrestle with increased cost of living and inflation without increased compensation, which has caused many teachers to leave Livingston for higher paying districts or to pursue an alternate profession.
The proposed one cent sales tax will result in an estimated 10% annual pay increase for every employee.
The most widespread concerns about the proposed tax stemmed from a distrust of the school board and/or upper-level district administration. Some of these concerns were alleviated by the specific language in the proposal, which legally dedicates the funding raised by the one cent* sales tax to salaries and benefits exclusively. Furthermore, it was revealed that only 4.7% of the funding for raises will be allocated to central office staff. 86% of the raise will go to instructional/school level staff and the remaining 9.2% will go to employees working in food service maintenance, and transportation. Superintendent Murphy has agreed to donate his portion of the raise to charity.
“This survey shows that across the board, the overwhelming majority of teachers and school employees in Livingston Parish support this sales tax,” said Tamara Cupit, President of the Livingston Federation of Teachers and a teacher at Denham Springs Freshman High School. “It’s hard to propose a measure that everyone will be 100% satisfied with, but the fact is Livingston educators need a raise and this is how we’re going to get it. I hope that everyone will recognize the importance of investing in our teachers and school support staff by voting for this measure on March 25th,” she added.
The one cent sales tax would not pertain to groceries, gasoline, or prescription drugs.
The Livingston Federation of Teachers & School Employees encourages you to vote for the proposal. Election day is March 25 and early voting will take place from March 11 - March 18 (excluding Sunday).
*A previous version of this update incorrectly stated "half cent" instead of "one cent" in this paragraph.