Shreveport, LA - Caddo Parish school employees display a united front at the doors of the school board building, showing their support for pay raises.
Joselyn George says, "The turnover is horrendous and if you want to eliminate some of those problems you're going to have to pay out there that is comparable for anyone who wants to get in this field."
Jackie Lansdale, the president of Red River United, the teacher's union says the school system lost almost $2 million dollars last year. She calls the loss a direct result of the high turnover rate.
"We had teachers not in their classrooms. We had schools that needed the best and the brightest, that had substitutes."
The starting salary for teachers in the Caddo Parish School System is just under $42,000.
Lansdale met with district leaders who are working to put a 5% raise in the next budget. According to her, the plan calls for no layoffs.
"We believe will help lift the low paid new teachers in Caddo Parish, which are the lowest in the region, off the bottom. And all we can tell those other districts across the region, they better pay attention."
Many worried benefits for retired teachers might be in jeopardy, but Emma Shepard, president of the Caddo Retired Teachers Association says that's not the case.
According to the school system's finance director, Jim Lee the finance committee is still in the early stages of drafting the budget.
The final budget will need to be approved by the school board.