Red River Parish Has State’s Highest Teacher Salaries?

Sure enough, they’re number one, with DeSoto second. Bossier and Caddo are in the middle of the pack. For years, Red River paid the lowest in the state, the last three, though, have seen huge increases in local tax revenues, thanks to the Haynesville Shale. The increased economic activity has led to the higher salaries in rural DeSoto and extremely rural Red River.

All in all, that’s a good thing. These are rural parishes; Red River has less than ten thousand people in it. There is no local professional labor pool. That means nearly all of the teachers are people who commute from nearby cities like Shreveport or Natchitoches. Given an option, no on is going to choose to drive an hour one way to  make the same amount of money they could make in their own town. So if DeSoto and Red River want anything other than leftovers who will leave at the first chance, the rural parishes have to pay more than the urban centers. Now that they are, as the article indicates, they receive many, many more applicants for open positions, and the new teachers will remain longer. That means better and more consistent teachers for the students.

The best part of the windfall is that no one has had to pay any extra taxes. This is all due to increased spending. All those lunches purchased by all those oil and gas workers have really added up. DeSoto’s sales tax receipts have quadrupled over the last few years, while in the last three, Red River’s have gone from about two million dollars to over fifteen.

The shale has benefited more than just salaries. One of the major companies has set up a scholarship program in Red River. They’ve also helped with athletics, allowing the school to replace an embarrassing football field with new turf. I think they also have plans to install a new track. They sponsor summer science and career programs, too.

All in all, the benefits of the shale have been amazing for education in these rural parishes. It won’t last forever, but it’s great now.

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5 Comments on “Red River Parish Has State’s Highest Teacher Salaries?”

  1. Lurker Says:

    There are 70 school districts in Louisiana. Bossier is 21, Caddo is higher on the lsit. They’re in the top 30% which is hardly “middle”.

  2. Lurker Says:

    Also, Red River school district’s performance is far below the state average, and for a state which places 49 out of 50, that’s pretty damn bad.

  3. wheeler Says:

    sorry, i’ll be more precise: caddo and bossier are at the head of the middle of the pack.

    also, see paragraph two, which explains some of the poor performances in the past. the money has only arrived in the last year. we’ll have to see if the talent that comes with it changes things.

    • Lurker Says:

      Will they be getting rid of all the teachers who produce the sub-par performance? Or will they just give those teachers more money/bigger carrot, thinking they’ll be more motivated to do a better job than they have in the past?

  4. Wheeler Says:

    unfortunately, thanks to tenure laws, getting rid of them won’t be easy.

    but they could tie the extra money to classroom effectiveness. no idea whether there’s plans to do so.

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