Donaldsonville schools approve $10,000 a year raise for certified teachers
DONALDSONVILLE - Teachers like Jacquequel Johnson at Lowery Middle School are rare in Donaldsonville. She's fully certified, and only 18% of teachers in the city's four schools have their certification.
"These children remind me so much of myself. I grew up in a community such as this one," Johnson said.
90% of the teachers in the rest of Ascension Parish schools are certified. To encourage more teachers to work on the west side of the parish, Lowery Middle has just approved a raise of $10,000 a year. If they qualify for the incentive, some teachers could earn up to $68,000 a year.
"We want teachers who want to be here, not just people who want a dollar. We want people who want to work with our kids and want to work in our school district," Lowery Middle School Principal Michael Hilton said.
The principal says distance is the problem. Donaldsonville is too far away for many teachers in the district to drive.
Even though it takes Johnson 45 minutes to get to work every day, she would still work at Lowery Middle without the raise.
"When I hear a kid say, 'Ms. Johnson, I came here today for you,' that makes me feel like at the end of the day, I am where I'm supposed to be, regardless of the $10,000 incentive," Johnson said.
Teachers assistants and support personnel will also get raises when they kick in during the next academic year.
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