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EBR teachers promised a raise, but some faculty fear they could be unemployed in weeks

11 months 1 week 2 days ago Friday, June 16 2023 Jun 16, 2023 June 16, 2023 5:08 AM June 16, 2023 in News
Source: WBRZ

BATON ROUGE - At Thursday's school board meeting, teachers and assistant principals were frustrated.

In the past, teachers were promised they would receive an 8% raise, but some, like Tomara Espinoza, an assistant principal at Northeast Elementary, say her main concern right now is keeping her job.

"According to the budget, that was released today (Thursday) and May 15th, me and about 15 other assistant principals that were hired this school year, our positions are being eliminated," Espinoza said.

That worries her; she says cutting assistant principals could affect students in the classroom because the school's principal will likely be stretched very thin.

"They're going to be asked to be the instructional leader, the motivator, the disciplinary, the cultural person, with no support," Espinoza said.

At the meeting, educators were vocal telling the school board and Superintendent Sito Narcisse—who was not at the meeting—a pay raise just isn't possible right now.

Storm Matthews, a teacher, says the 8% pay raise was a promise the Superintendent, should have never made.

"He has a really bad habit of shooting off of the mouth, and saying things without seeing if they can actually be done," Matthews said.

Espinoza agrees.

"We don't have the money for 8% raises," she said.

Board Members, and EBR Spokesman Ben Lemoine say they understand the concerns.

Lemoine says he wants to remind everyone there are a lot of moving parts with the budget, and nothing is set in stone yet.

"While we are listening to those concerns and issues, we are trying to make decisions that are in the best interest of the staff and students," Lemoine told WBRZ.

Still, several educators question what will happen to them. Espinoza says she doesn't want to leave East Baton Rouge, but says, some educators might.

"There is a lot of districts around us, there are out of state options, and if you want to stay in Baton Rouge, you might struggle," Espinoza said.

The budget is supposed to be approved in two weeks, but board members say that likely won't happen.

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