Lafourche Parish voters will decide on a new half-cent sales tax on May 9 that would generate money for school employee salaries.
Lafourche Parish School Board unanimously voted to pass a resolution calling for the special election during its meeting last Wednesday night.
The new tax would be in addition to the current parish school sales tax of 2%. Overall, the parish sales tax ranges from 9.1-9.8%.
Pay for Lafourche’s teachers ranks close to the bottom third in the state. A three-year pay freeze, which ended this year, had also taken a toll on the A-rated district’s ability to retain its workers.
During the meeting, board member Marian Fertitta said, “It’s been a long time coming. We’ve been working on this for over two years. We are in dire need of keeping the wonderful teachers that we have.”
School district officials have stated that increased teacher pay is a top priority to maintain and improve on Lafourche’s district performance, which ranks third in the state.
The proposed half-cent sales tax would bring in a projected $8 million annually for school personnel salaries and benefits, and expire after five years. If approved by Lafourche’s taxpayers, it would be enacted July 1.
That money would pay for a $3,000 raise for teachers and a $1,500 raise for support personnel.
Board president Brooke Huddleston also announced the five qualified candidates to fill the superintendent position at the meeting.
The list includes former St. John Parish Superintendent Kevin George, St. Charles Parish secondary education director Chris Kimball, former Lafourche schools administrator Charles Michel, interim Lafourche Superintendent Jarod Martin and Michael Robinson, who served as a superintendent in Arkansas.
The board aims to fill the position by March after buying former Superintendent Louis Voiron out of his contract a year early following months of medical leave.
The board voted unanimously to hold three special meetings within the next two weeks, planning to select a new superintendent on Jan. 21.
The board met on Jan. 14 after reviewing the applications to determine which candidates they will interview and to set the guidelines for the interviews.
Those interviews will then take place on Jan. 16.
The meetings will all take place in the school district’s central office, 805 E. 7th Street, Thibodaux.
-- Daily Comet Staff Writer Halle Parker can be reached at email@example.com or 857-2204. Follow her on Twitter, @_thehalparker.
Posted on Tue, January 14, 2020
by By Halle Parker / Daily Comet Staff Writer