La. Taps Gambling Revenue To Raise Teachers’ Salaries

By Erik W. Robelen — March 28, 2001 1 min read

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


Jobs The EdWeek Top School Jobs Virtual Career Fair
Find teaching jobs and other jobs in K-12 education at the EdWeek Top School Jobs virtual career fair.
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Mathematics Webinar
Engaging Young Students to Accelerate Math Learning
Join learning scientists and inspiring district leaders, for a timely panel discussion addressing a school district’s approach to doubling and tripling Math gains during Covid. What started as a goal to address learning gaps in
Content provided by Age of Learning & Digital Promise, Harlingen CISD
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Curriculum Webinar
How to Power Your Curriculum With Digital Books
Register for this can’t miss session looking at best practices for utilizing digital books to support their curriculum.
Content provided by OverDrive

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 Let School Officials Seek Gun Limits for Potentially Violent Students, Feds Suggest
A model state "red flag" bill would let school officials ask courts to halt students' access to guns if they are deemed a risk.
4 min read
Students protest after the 2018 school shooting in Parkland, Fla.
Students protest after the 2018 school shooting in Parkland, Fla.
High school students rally at the Capitol in Washington on Feb. 21 in support of those affected at the Parkland High School shooting in Florida. J. Scott Applewhite/AP
States From Our Research Center A User’s Guide to the Grading and Methodology
Here's a quick and easy guide to the grading scale and each of the indicators that go into making up the 50-state grades for school finance.
EdWeek Research Center
4 min read
Illustration of C letter grade
States From Our Research Center State Grades on School Finance: 2021 Map and Rankings
Examine the grades and scores that states and the nation earned on school finance, along with how they scored on a host of indicators.
EdWeek Research Center
1 min read
Illustration of C letter grade
States States Missed Opportunity to Provide Key Data About Schools During Pandemic, Report Says
An analysis of states' school report cards finds many failed to report key indicators, like absenteeism and school spending.
4 min read
Illustration of a woman on a laptop presenting data graphics to two women and one man.
iStock/Getty Images Plus