School support workers call for raises

Published 12:00 am Friday, April 27, 2001

VIDALIA, La. – If you are a bus driver in Concordia Parish, the most you’ll make is $10,779 a year – almost $4,000 below the federal poverty level for a family of three.

&uot;Most bus drivers have other jobs, too,&uot;&160;said Rose Tillery, who drives a bus for special education students in addition to running her own beauty shop. &uot;They can’t make it on just one.&uot;

So on Wednesday, 100 school support workers – food service workers, maintenance and janitorial employees, bus drivers, teachers’ aides and the like – lobbied for raises at the State Capitol in Baton Rouge.

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At the same time, rising insurance costs have diminished support workers’ take-home pay, Landon said.

Because job titles and descriptions vary among school districts, it is difficult to compute an average salary for support employees, Landon said.

But while a universal figure is difficult to come by, figures are available from the Louisiana Department of Education for individual job categories.

Although the Concordia Parish School District, which has about 350 support workers, does not compute averages, it does have salary ranges for support workers.

Those job categories include:

Teachers’ aides, who make $12,507 a year in special education classes and $12,408 a year in other classes statewide. They make $8,868 to $12,745 in Concordia Parish.

Bus drivers, who average $13,923 a year statewide and make from $9,979 to $10,779 in Concordia Parish, not counting reimbursable expenses.

Custodians, who make an average of $14,894 a year statewide and $11,890 to $14,274 a year in Concordia Parish, depending on years of experience.

Lunchroom workers, who make an average of $11,308 a year statewide. Lunchroom workers who serve less than 400 students a day in Concordia Parish make from $9,176 to $12,182.