NEWS

Ascension Parish Public Schools offering $10,000 above base pay for qualified teachers at Donaldsonville schools

Staff Report
In an effort to hire more highly-qualified, certified teachers in its Donaldsonville schools, the Ascension Parish School Board approved Supplemental Pay for the 2022-23 school year at Donaldsonville High, Donaldsonville Primary, Lowery Elementary, and Lowery Middle schools.

In an effort to hire more highly-qualified, certified teachers in its Donaldsonville schools, the Ascension Parish School Board approved Supplemental Pay for the 2022-23 school year at Donaldsonville High, Donaldsonville Primary, Lowery Elementary, and Lowery Middle schools.

According to a news release, teachers with a highly effective or effective proficient rating can make $10,000 above base pay for teaching core subjects, $2,500 above base pay for teaching electives, and paraprofessionals can make $1,250 above base pay.

There are 166 positions potentially eligible for the supplemental pay, which is available to current employees who qualify. If all positions are filled by educators with a highly effective or effective proficient rating, it will total more than a $1.6 million strategic investment in Donaldsonville.

"We continue to work to identify areas where we can improve our services to students throughout our school district. Statistical information is very clear that we need a higher percentage of certified educators in our Donaldsonville City schools. This effort to offer a supplemental pay incentive is a significant step designed to address that need. I applaud our School Board for listening and taking the necessary steps, as they always do, to address the needs of students," stated Superintendent David Alexander.

While the median household income for Ascension Parish is $82,594, it ranges from $99,722 in Prairieville to $23,151 in Donaldsonville. Additionally, there is a 45.2% poverty rate in Donaldsonville versus 9.6% in Ascension Parish.

According to the research article, Teachers Matter by the RAND Corporation (2019), "Teachers matter more to student achievement than any other aspect of schooling. Many factors contribute to a student's academic performance, including individual characteristics and family and neighborhood experiences. but research suggests that, among school-related factors, teachers matter most."

There is an acute need for certified teachers in the Donaldsonville feeder system, which currently has a certified teacher percentage of 18% versus 90% in the Dutchtown High feeder system, 91% in the East Ascension High feeder system, and 98% in the St. Amant High feeder system.

"Ascension Public Schools is a strong and committed school district with a commitment to student achievement, and we realize that to keep that commitment every student must achieve. Placing highly effective teachers with the most at-risk students guarantees our continued academic success," said Chief Instructional Director Edith Walker.

Based on the current Salary Schedule, below are examples of the Supplemental Pay for qualified teachers:

  • A teacher with five years of experience and a bachelor's degree earns $49,858. The supplemental pay will bring compensation to $52,283 for elective teachers and $59,858 for core subject teachers.
  • A teacher with 10 years of experience and a bachelor's degree earns $52,948. The supplemental pay will bring compensation to $55,448 for elective teachers and $62,948 for core subject teachers.
  • A teacher with 15 years of experience and a bachelor's degree earns $56,553 The supplemental pay will bring compensation to $59,053 for elective teachers and $66,553 for core subject teachers.
  • A teacher with 20 years of experience and a bachelor's degree earns $58,558 The supplemental pay will bring compensation to $61,058 for elective teachers and $68,558 for core subject teachers.

WHAT DONALDSONVILLE PRINCIPALS ARE SAYING:

"Consider making the investment into the Donaldsonville community as we make the investment in you to grow and learn with us. Having a high-quality teacher in every classroom on our campus ensures that every student will have access to develop the critical foundational skills needed to set them up for their future. So bring what is special about you, and let's see if you are the missing piece of our puzzle. At Donaldsonville Primary, we are the change that's planting the seeds!"

- Principal Tennile Lange, Ed.D.

Donaldsonville Primary School

"We firmly believe in equipping our students with the skills, knowledge, and confidence to problem solve, question, advocate, and communicate in a way that enhances opportunities. Our most successful Lions have had the opportunity to be taught by experienced, effective teachers and support staff. Ascension’s latest recruitment effort ensures all the students of Donaldsonville have the same opportunity as some of their peers and students across the district! If you are looking to work with the most amazing staff, students, and community, the Westside is for you. We are looking for passionate, dedicated partners to join our Lowery Family!"

- Principal Karen Daigle

Lowery Elementary School

"This investment will draw and attract highly effective teachers to the area in our district that has the greatest concentration of need. This can mean only one thing for Donaldsonville: transformation! The gaps will transform into gains and the deficits will transform into assets. At Lowery Middle School, we invest in every single Tiger. We invest in our students and in our teachers. The investment in teachers is not just monetary, it is in professional development and growth. Come join a team where your expertise, experience, and efforts are valued at every level."

- Principal Michael Hilton, III

Lowery Middle School

"Teaching is the one profession that creates all other professions. Although our student population is labeled as high-poverty, that is how our students eat and is not indicative of how our students learn and excel academically. Our recent graduation rate of 88% is a result of the hard work and commitment of our human capital. If you are looking for an opportunity to grow professionally while preparing young adults to become productive citizens in society, 100 Tiger Drive is your destination.

- Principal Marvin Evans

Donaldsonville High School