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Message from Dr. Brumley: January 2019

Throughout my career as superintendent, I’ve always realized the importance of fair compensation. It’s a priority to me, because we’re only as good as the professionals who work with and for our children every day.

About four months ago, the Jefferson Parish School Board asked me to create a compensation plan that would help us retain our best educators and attract the top new talent for our students. Jefferson Parish citizens will vote on that plan during the May 4 election. It’s an increase of 7.9 mills. Even with the increase, Jefferson Parish would still have one of the lowest school property taxes in the region. We are also scrubbing our budget so the district can internally fund $4.5 million of the total plan.

Increasing teacher pay will help the district keep its best teachers and recruit the best new educators to join our team. Starting teacher pay in Jefferson Parish currently ranks 8th out of the nine parishes in our region. Average teacher pay in Jefferson Parish trails both the state and nation. Every year we’re losing about 40% of our new teachers and 30% of our veteran teachers. Over the last three years alone, we have lost over 1,500 teachers.

Under my plan, the average teacher in JP Schools would see an increase of $3,625 in base salary. Teachers would also be eligible for additional stipends for working in exceptionally low socio-economic schools, schools with exceptionally high population of students who don’t speak English as their primary language, and for teaching subjects where we currently struggle to find certified educators.

This plan comes from hundreds of meetings over the last year with employees, parents, community members, and business leaders. I tried to deliver a forward-looking plan that overcomes the concerns from the last proposal. Without a doubt, and with any such effort, there will be components of the plan that are liked and some that are disliked. I do believe, however, the comprehensiveness of the plan shows value to our employees and is cognizant of our public’s desires.

I urge you to become informed about this important decision and vote on May 4. You can view the entire proposal and keep up with the latest news and happenings surrounding the issue at jpschools.org/employeecompensation. If you have any questions about the plan, you can email us at employeepay@jppss.k12.la.us.

It’s our job to provide the education our students deserve to succeed in life and make our world a better place. The success of JP Schools matters to anyone who lives or works in Jefferson Parish. A strong public school system leads to a better economy, higher property values, improved health care, a more talented workforce, and lower crime rates. We have to do better for our kids. The best way to improve student outcomes is to ensure that every child learns from an effective teacher.