Rapides Schools bumping 2023-24 budget, issuing 4 percent raises


The Rapides Parish School System payroll will increase more than $5 million in the fiscal year beginning July 1, totaling about $140 million. 

Of that around $94 million is teacher payroll (approximately 1,600 teachers) and $17 million is salary for officials, administrators and managers. 

The School Board approved raises of at least 4 percent at its May meeting. Employees in some job slots will get more as the system moves to adjust compensation to prevailing market rates. 

Additionally employees this month will get their much-anticipated, but not guaranteed, extra check from two sales tax collections dedicated to salaries. 

When more is collected in the 12 months in question than is needed to fund wage obligations, the difference is distributed in a 13th check. 

Flush with revenue from post-pandemic economic activity and taxes collected on inflation-boosted prices, the fund will pay $7,100 in one-time largesse to employees with a college degree or valid teaching certificate and $3,550 to other positions. 

According to system documents, the 4 percent across the board will cost about $5.6 million and Food Service and Maintenance adjustments will raise those payrolls about $600,000. 

The bulk ($3.7 million) of the recurring new funding will come in savings from implementing the Operational Strategic Plan. Other finding sources are a Workers Compensation Fund transfer ($1 million) and debt reduction from bus purchases rolling off the budget ($800,000).

Payroll spending for the current fiscal year, according to the board’s budget, adjusted at the end of March (fiscal year ends June 30):

Officials, administrators and managers, $12.03 million;

Teachers, $90.5 million;

Therapists, specialists, counselors, $5.1 million;

Clerical/secretarial, $3.1 million;

Para-professionals/aides, $7.8 million;

Service workers, $9.03 million;

Skilled crafts, $.36 million;

Degrees professionals, $1.6 million;

Other salaries, $1.46 million;

Seasonal employees, $12,500;

Substitute teacher, was employee, $1.9 million;

Substitute employee other than teacher, $.65 million;

Salaries for extra work performed, $.65 million;

Teachers sabbatical, $.17 million.