Employee Raise Millage

For Our Students To Be Competitive…Our Schools Must Be Competitive

To improve student performance and achievement, we must be able to recruit and retain the best teachers. Currently, our starting teacher salary is among the lowest in the region, and we are not competitive. Each year we are losing teachers and employees to surrounding parishes. On the November 18 ballot, there is a proposed millage tax increase that will provide teacher and employee pay raises to make us more competitive. Early voting is November 3-11.

Starting Teacher Pay (Bachelor’s Degree w/o Experience)
Surrounding Parish Starting Pay
Plaquemines $46,300
St. Charles $44,565
East Baton Rouge $44,500
St. Tammany $44,284
Ascension $43,683
St. John Baptist $42,818
Orleans $41,913
Jefferson $40,949

Facts About This Vote

  • Click to enlarge

    The school board is proposing a 10 year, 8.45 mill property tax increase.

  • Funds could only be used for teacher and employee salary increases as outlined on the ballot.
  • The starting teacher pay in JPPSS currently ranks last among schools in our region.
  • If approved, all certified JPPSS teachers would receive an annual salary increase of $4,000.
  • The increase would rank JPPSS’ starting teacher pay second in the region, just above St. Charles, East Baton Rouge, and St. Tammany.
  • JPPSS employees whose position’s average annual salary is under $20,000 would get a 10% pay increase.
  • JPPSS employees whose position’s average annual salary is over $20,000 and who are not certified teachers would receive a $3,000 pay increase.

How You Can Help

  • Educate yourself on this important vote by reading our “Frequently Asked Questions” below.
  • Share this information with family, friends, and coworkers, then encourage them to vote. You can tell them to visit jpschools.org/vote2017.
  • Vote! The election is November 18. You can vote early November 3-11.

General Voting Information

Date Event
November 3 Early Voting Begins
November 11 Early Voting Ends
November 18 Election

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the need?

Teachers are the key drivers for improving educational outcomes in the classroom. We are losing teachers at all levels, but especially newer teachers.

What is the cause?

There are different factors influencing employment decisions, many of which are being addressed internally, but one of the major issues is salary. This is of increasing importance to new hires and younger teachers who are most concerned with take home pay, not benefits.

Our starting salaries are among the lowest in the area which makes it difficult for us to compete for new hires. In exit interviews from the last three years, teachers have cited leaving for jobs in other districts as a reason. This response has risen from 17% to 30%.

We can, and do, constantly work on all the components of job satisfaction, but if we cannot offer competitive salaries we will always be at a significant disadvantage and our students will pay the price.

What is the proposal?

The school board is proposing a 10 year, 8.45 mill property tax increase dedicated to teacher and employee raises. Funds could only be used for teacher and employee salary (and related benefits) increases as outlined on the ballot.

Why property tax?

There needs to be a stable revenue stream for recurring expenses like salaries. The millage rate of 22.91 for schools has remained the same since 2003. Even with the increase we would be below our neighboring parishes.

What process was used to determine the amount of the millage?

From comparisons with other districts it was determined that a raise of approximately $4,000 would be required to make us competitive with starting teacher pay in other districts. We would not be the highest, but would be competitive. The cost of raises for other employees, including teacher’s aids, cafeteria workers etc., were then added and it was determined 8.45 mills would be needed. The package was then presented to the Board and it was approved on August 8, 2017.

What about the buildings and maintenance, don’t you need money for that too?

Yes, there is a need for that as well, but it is a large and complex problem that the board has been discussing for several years. Shifting demographics, population projections and the magnitude of the investment (around $250 million) make an accurate estimate of exactly what is needed where, and consensus more difficult. The Board has given the Superintendent a directive to bring forward a plan to use fund balance for non-recurring expenses for the December 2017 Board Meeting.

Why not wait and combine the taxes together?

The need for competitive salaries is clear. Our starting salaries are well below other districts already. The amount required to be competitive is easily ascertained by reviewing surrounding district pay scales. There is a real sense of urgency for competitive salaries and the School Board identified it as a priority by a 7-1 vote.

Why not “ scrub” the budget and find another funding source for the raises?

Salaries and benefits account for roughly 76% of the 2017-18 budget. When adjusted for inflation, the current amount budgeted for salaries and benefits is only slightly more than in 2004, and we have reduced the total number of employees by about 1,000. A committee of school system officials and union leaders met for nearly a year to study other potential ways to fund increases and found none. There are no other recurring revenue sources that could provide the funds needed for a competitive pay raise.

Will this impact student performance?

There is little doubt that high teacher turnover has a negative effect on student achievement. The state mandates a certain pupil teacher ratio, if we do not have teachers on staff to fill those spots they are filled with substitutes frequently drawn from employment agencies. It is doubtful that test scores or performance will substantially improve with a substitute in the classroom as opposed to a consistent, certified classroom teacher. More competitive salaries should help to recruit and retain better teachers for vacancies.

How Much Will This Cost Homeowners? (Assuming Homestead Exemption)

Estimated Value of Residence Assessment at 10% of Value Taxable Value of Home Owner Cost to Home Owner
$75,000 $7,500 - -
$100,000 $10,000 $2,500 $21.13
$125,000 $12,500 $5,000 $42.25
$150,000 $15,000 $7,500 $63.38
$175,000 $17,500 $10,000 $84.50
$200,000 $20,000 $12,500 $105.63
$225,000 $22,500 $15,000 $126.75
$250,000 $25,000 $17,500 $147.88
$275,000 $27,500 $20,000 $169
$300,000 $30,000 $22,500 $190.13

How Much Will This Cost Business Owners?

Value of Asset Assessed Percentage Assessed Value Number of Mills Annual Taxes
Land $50,000 10% $5,000 0.00845 $42.25
Building $200,000 15% $30,000 0.00845 $253.50
Total Property Tax Increase Per Year $295.75