Acadiana teachers to get bonus check

Louisiana News

Communities in Schools met with students in person and address their needs before the pandemic (Courtesy Communities in Schools)

LAFAYETTE, La. (AP) — Teachers in a Louisiana school district are getting a bonus check thanks to extra sales tax collections.

The Lafayette Parish School Board approved the annual “14th check” for teachers Wednesday, opting to give each qualifying employee a roughly $1,850 bonus check this month, The Advocate reported.

The additional $1,854.05 comes from excess collections in the district’s 2002 sales tax fund. From 2006 through 2019, the bonus payouts have ranged from a low of $380.95 per teacher in 2010 to a high of $2,281.54 per teacher in 2013, according to school board documents.

The latest disbursement was approved in a 5-3 board vote.

“I’m so glad the sales tax has this money in it to distribute to our teachers because nobody deserves it more, but I philosophically believe it should be a permanent salary increase,” said board member Justin Centanni, who voted against the payout.

Centanni, Tehmi Chassion and Hannah Smith Mason said they wanted to see some of the funds go toward a permanent raise for qualifying teachers.

The current recession and COVID-19 could “likely” significantly impact sales tax collections in coming years, Chassion said, also advocating for the salary increase.

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