At the upcoming May 13 Jefferson Parish School Board meeting, Superintendent Dr. James Meza, Jr. will present to the board a set of three recommendations on employee salary increases to become effective in the 2014-15 school year. The recommendations will provide increased compensation to employees who continue to make the Jefferson Parish Public School System (JPPSS) one of the fastest-improving districts in Louisiana.
“Our employees work so hard everyday, and now that the district’s budget is stabilized, I’m thrilled to recommend that our board provide our staff with the salary raises they deserve,” said Meza. “Not only will these increases help us to retain our most effective teachers, but it will allow us to remain competitive in attracting other talented employees to the district.”
The first recommendation presented to the board will provide raises of up to $1,800 for all employees who are on salary schedules. The raise amount will be based on a salary compression factor, or the difference between an employee’s years of experience in their current position at the beginning of the 2013-14 school year and their current salary schedule step.
The second recommendation calls for the board to suspend the existing performance pay plan and instead offer all eligible full-time employees a step increase in 2014-15 when 2013-14 performance evaluation ratings become available. In accordance with state law, employees who receive “ineffective” performance evaluations will not be eligible for this step increase.
The final recommendation asks the board to extend all existing salary schedules by one step in 2014-15 to allow for an increase in salaries for effective, full-time employees who had previously reached the highest step. For effective employees on the new central office salary scale, and not on a salary schedule, $500 would be added to their salary.
For effective teachers who have been with JPPSS for the past four years or more, these recommendations would provide a salary increase of up to $2,400 in the 2014-15 school year.
“These recommendations were developed in consultation with a variety of stakeholders across the district and the community, who served as part of a salary advisory committee for the district,” said Meza. “With the input of teachers, principals, staff, and community members, I believe our final recommendations address the needs of our employees who have been instrumental to the success of this district in the past few years.”
If implemented, these recommendations would cost the district approximately $10.5 million annually. The $10.5 million cost is to be funded through revenue increases from local taxes, the state minimum foundation program (MFP), and Medicaid reimbursements. The district plans to use bond funding to the fullest extent possible to free up about $3 million for intensive maintenance projects. A more detailed funding proposal will be presented to the board as part of the 2014-15 budget in an upcoming board meeting.