States

La. Taps Gambling Revenue To Raise Teachers’ Salaries

By Erik W. Robelen — March 28, 2001 1 min read
  • Save to favorites
  • Print

Louisiana teachers stand to get a raise next fall, thanks to the state’s gamblers.

The state legislature completed work last week on the gambling package during a special session called by Gov. Mike Foster to address the matter. The Republican governor has pledged to bring teacher salaries up to the Southern regional average. (“Louisiana Wants Casinos To Ante Up for Teacher Raises,” March 21, 2001.)

“This special session has been a great success,” Gov. Foster proclaimed upon its completion on March 22. “The House and Senate worked together with my administration to pass legislation that will raise teacher and faculty pay substantially.”

The governor’s original plan would have provided teachers with a $2,000 pay raise, with half of that derived from the gaming revenues and the other half from proposed changes to the state education budget. But the final amount could be $400 to $500 above that because of changes made in the legislature that would increase the tax revenue, said Thomas Tate, the chief lobbyist for the Louisiana Association of Educators, an affiliate of the National Education Association.

Mr. Foster’s original plan would have exempted five of the state’s 14 riverboat casinos from the higher taxes because they are not required to periodically leave the dock and cruise, as the other nine are. Under the final legislation, all of the state’s riverboat casinos would remain permanently docked, but would face a tax of 21.5 percent, up from 18.5 percent.

Other Funding Source

A second aspect of the plan, also approved by legislators and signed by the governor last week, would lower the annual payment the state charges to Harrah’s Casino, a land-based facility in New Orleans, while earmarking the money for raises for teachers and college faculty members. The current tax, $100 million per year, has threatened to put the casino out of business.

The gambling revenues would provide only a portion of the teacher-pay raise. The other half would come from using all of the growth in fiscal 2002 in the state’s minimum-foundation program—the main state funding source for education—for increased teacher pay. The state board of education approved such a plan this month. It still requires approval by the legislature when it meets in regular session later this month.

Related Tags:

A version of this article appeared in the March 28, 2001 edition of Education Week as La. Taps Gambling Revenue To Raise Teachers’ Salaries

Events

Classroom Technology Webinar Building Better Blended Learning in K-12 Schools
The pandemic and the increasing use of technology in K-12 education it prompted has added renewed energy to the blended learning movement as most students are now learning in school buildings (and will likely continue

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Teacher Jobs
Search over ten thousand teaching jobs nationwide — elementary, middle, high school and more.
View Jobs
Principal Jobs
Find hundreds of jobs for principals, assistant principals, and other school leadership roles.
View Jobs
Administrator Jobs
Over a thousand district-level jobs: superintendents, directors, more.
View Jobs
Support Staff Jobs
Search thousands of jobs, from paraprofessionals to counselors and more.
View Jobs

Read Next

States How a Website to Complain About Teachers Is Fueling the Critical Race Theory Fight
It was pitched as an effort to strengthen anti-discrimination laws, but critics say it aims to reject any discussion of systemic racism.
2 min read
Frank Edelblut speaks at the Statehouse in Concord, N.H. on Jan. 31, 2017, during a public hearing on his nomination to lead the state's education department. As first-term Gov. Chris Sununu builds out his cabinet of commissioners, he's tapped some appointees with little to no professional experience in the departments they're tasked with leading. For education, he tapped Edelblut, a businessman who homeschooled his children.
Frank Edelblut speaks at the Statehouse in Concord, N.H. on Jan. 31, 2017, during a public hearing on his nomination to lead the state's education department. As first-term Gov. Chris Sununu builds out his cabinet of commissioners, he's tapped some appointees with little to no professional experience in the departments they're tasked with leading. For education, he tapped Edelblut, a businessman who homeschooled his children.
Elise Amendola/AP Photo
States Opinion 5 Takeaways for Education From Virginia's Governor Race
In an election where K-12 schooling was widely seen as the central issue, Glenn Youngkin’s victory has important implications for schools.
5 min read
Image shows a multi-tailed arrow hitting the bullseye of a target.
DigitalVision Vectors/Getty
States Anxiety Over Schools Fired Up Voters This Year. What About 2022?
Election results from Virginia, New Jersey, and elsewhere suggest educators and schools will be firmly in the spotlight next year.
10 min read
Virginia Gov.-elect Glenn Youngkin holds a broom as he greets supporters at an election night party in Chantilly, Va., early Wednesday, Nov. 3, 2021, after he defeated Democrat Terry McAuliffe.
Virginia Gov.-elect Glenn Youngkin, a Republican, holds a broom as he greets supporters at an election night party in Chantilly, Va., after he defeated Democratic challenger Terry McAuliffe.
Andrew Harnik/AP
States How One Governor's Race Has Channeled National and Local Anger Over Schools
Virginia's gubernatorial candidates are fighting over everything from parents' roles to banning books. Is this a preview of 2022 elections?
8 min read
Virginia Republican gubernatorial candidate Glenn Youngkin, left, gestures a he talks with supporters during a rally in Culpeper, Va., Wednesday, Oct. 13, 2021. Youngkin faces former Gov. Terry McAuliffe in the November election.
Virginia Republican gubernatorial candidate Glenn Youngkin, left, talks with supporters during a rally in Culpeper, Va. Youngkin faces former Gov. Terry McAuliffe in the November election.
Steve Helber/AP