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Days before the start of school, EBR adds 139 'teacher coaches' back into the classroom

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BATON ROUGE - As parents and students get last-minute school supplies, the East Baton Rouge Parish School Board is making some last-minute decisions of their own.

This morning we met with all the coaches, and our conversations with the coaches we said, 'hey, due to the vacancies, this is temporary,'" said EBR Parish Schools Superintendent Dr. Sito Narcisse.

It's an all-hands-on-deck effort for the second-largest school system in the state. With 255 vacancies to fill and only days to spare, Superintendent Narcisse made the call Thursday morning to put 139 teacher coaches back into regular teaching positions.

“Our hope is, as we go into this coming week, we should be hopefully under 100 semi-vacancies in the school system," Dr. Narcisse said.

Those coaches are certified teachers who usually work to help full-time teachers behind the scenes. Most are in agreement that they are a better temporary fit than a substitute.

“These individuals were teachers last year in most instances, and so they are familiar with the curriculum, the makeup of the class and how the lesson is supposed to be taught. So who better to do that than them?" said Angela Reams-Brown, President of the EBR Federation of Teachers.

The only difference is those coaches will make more than double the salary of what a typical teacher would make. The salary for those coaches can be anywhere between $52,000 to $70,000, according to Reams-Brown.

New hires have the opportunity to earn more money as well, with the EBR School Board incentivizing the job by offering a $7,200 signing bonus. Superintendent Narcisse plans to take retention a step further, as well, proposing a $3,000 raise for all teachers and staff at Thursday night's school board meeting.

When more teachers are hired, the coaches will be taken out of the classroom once again.

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