Bossier has a top-ranked school district, but the lowest paid teachers in the region. And it seems like it may stay that way until a solution is found.
Bossier Parish voters overwhelmingly shot down a tax proposal for teacher pay raises and technology upgrades.
“The Bossier Parish school board has over 3000 employees. That is a huge economic impact you are turning your back on time and time again,” said Jackie Lansdale, President of the Red River United Teacher’s Union.
Saturday 74 percent of voters rejected both proposals. Combined they would have raised property taxes by 24 percent.
“We’ve heard a lot of people say well not this, there’s another way. Well, it’s time to hear what is that way,” said Lansdale.
Bossier Chamber of Commerce President Lisa Johnson says many people think a 24 percent tax hike is just too much.
“The large increase at one time and retroactive. So is this the way to do it. So some of the questions were are we absolutely sure there is no money anywhere else,” said Johnson.
Johnson says it’s important the community works together to find a solution which benefits everyone. “There is no easy answer to this. had there been an easy answer it would have already been found. So we’re looking for a collaboration to have a good hard look at the budget,” said Johnson.
The Bossier Parish School District released a statement saying they’re disappointed in the outcome. They have heard the concerns from numerous residents and business leaders and look forward to finding a solution.
Teachers have not seen a raise in base salary in more than a decade.