UPDATE: Bossier teachers pay stipend to continued unaltered, not voted on at board meeting

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UPDATE: Bossier Parish Schools Public Relations Liaison Sonja Bailes confirmed to the Press-Tribune Thursday morning that the attendance supplement item on the agenda is a report and not an item to be voted on by the board. She added it will likely be tabled and that the attendance supplement program will continue as approved or until addressed by the school board at a later date.

“This item on the agenda addressing the Attendance Supplement Program is solely a report, not an action item. However, given the number of School Board members that will not be present at tonight’s meeting due to previous obligations, there is a very strong possibility Item 3.03 will either be tabled or voted off the agenda. Understandably, our board members want to be able to have full input on this issue,” Bailes said in an email to the Press-Tribune. “In the meantime, the Attendance Supplement Program will continue as approved on July 19, 2018 or until it is brought forward to the School Board at a later date.”

The original story follows below:

Bossier Parish teachers are reportedly upset after word was spread via a social media post that a pay stipend is under threat.

A teacher, who wished to withhold their identity, contacted the Press-Tribune Wednesday night to discuss a post in the Red River United Facebook page earlier this month that said the Bossier Parish School Board will vote to reduce the funding for a monthly perfect attendance stipend to two or four times per year.

The post said the board would vote at its Thursday, Oct. 18 meeting to reduce the $200 stipend from monthly to every six months or end of every nine weeks, which equates to four times per year.

 

The teacher told the Press-Tribune that they have not been told directly by the parish via email or any written form of communication about the vote or that the stipend would be reduced. However, item 3.03 on Thursday’s board meeting is titled, “Report: Attendance Supplement Program (Presented by Frank Rougeau, Chief Financial
Officer)”

However, the source assured that teachers have discussed the topic and are “highly upset” at the prospect of the attendance stipend being reduced. The source went on to say that teachers are talking about “putting in absences on the school digital absence program” Friday if the attendance stipend is reduced.

“We want to fight for teacher’s rights!” the source said. “We are sick and tired of being a top tier parish with an outdated pay scale. If they can’t guarantee us the funding they already promised, how can we believe there will ever be a raise? Many are actively pursuing other jobs already.”

The source shared a chain text message allegedly being sent among teachers encouraging them to show up to tomorrow’s school board meeting.

The text reads:

Tomorrow night at the school board meeting, the attendance stipend will be brought up. The board is being asked to change the stipend to 3 more times this school year (9 weeks) or 2 more times( semester) instead of the monthly that was voted on in July. Email your board members!!! We want the vote/discussion tabled until all board members can be there (4 or 5 will not be at the meeting and can not vote if a vote happens).  We need teachers to stand up and attend the meetings and email board members letting them know they can find the money elsewhere – don’t take something from us because someone miscalculated the amount of money needed for this attendance stipend.

Spread the word”

The Press-Tribune has reached out to Bossier Schools for any comment or confirmation. We will update this story if/when we receive anything. We will also be present at the meeting to provide any updates.

The Bossier Parish School Board will meet tomorrow at 6 p.m. at the Bossier Instructional Center, 2719 Airline Dr., in Bossier City.