Higher education pay raise proposal

Published: Mar. 10, 2021 at 7:55 PM CST
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MONROE, La. (KNOE) - Pay raises may be on the way for higher education teachers. The governor’s proposed budget includes money for pay hikes and scholarships.

The funding would come from the Federal COVID-19 money given to the state.

The Governor’s proposal includes a $56 million dollar increase with $19.8 million for the faculty pay raise, thanks to federal COVID relief funds. The money would also prevent budget cuts for Colleges and Universities this year after many of them were hit hard by the pandemic.

“I would say the areas that have been the most significant hit in terms of generating revenue would be our auxiliary areas, which would include our bookstore, our food services, our housing area, and of course, athletics, they’re a little bit auxiliary and tied to the University as well, and so the dollars that will be provided for us for relief funds will help offset some of the revenue loss that we’ve incurred,” said Lisa Miller, the University of Louisiana Monroe, VP of enrollment management.

Officials say this will be the first statewide raise in 13 years and will help them recover. The proposal also includes 11 million dollars for student grants

“I’m excited, I will say just as much as the staff and the professors need aid in help so does our students because they also have been through things some a lot worse than me because I’ve been blessed,” said Chelsea Rodgers, A student at the University of Louisiana Monroe.

On top of that, officials say Louisiana public and private schools are getting $23 million in federal relief funds that congress passed in December.

“So, we’re very proud that we’ve already distributed about $3 million, and we are certainly working towards being able to do that with any additional funds that come our way that are allocated for students,” said Miller.

The education officials say that keeping universities healthy is the key to rebuilding after the pandemic.

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