Charter school teachers to receive stipend

Published 8:26 am Wednesday, November 1, 2023

Teachers and staff at Lake Charles Charter Academy, Southwest Louisiana Charter Academy and Lake Charles College Prep will receive hefty stipends on their Nov. 22 paychecks.

The one-time stipends – a potential total of $9,000 for instructional staff and $5,900 for non-instructional staff – are a combination of funds allocated during the 2023 Louisiana legislative session and the Lake Charles Charter Foundation bonus supplement.

Gene Thibodeaux, president of the board of trustees for the three Lake Charles Charter Schools, said that the stipends have been more than earned.

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“Our charter school faculty members and support staff are dedicated professionals who have exemplified the vision of our charter school in their everyday practices. They personally care for the students they serve and believe that building strong boys and girls is so much better than repairing broken men and women. They truly care.”

He said the stipend amounts “more than doubles the allocation from last school year,” and a total of $1,812,464 will be distributed throughout the schools. LCCA will distribute a total of $763,162, SWLCA $642,720 and LCCP $406,582. For all three schools, a majority of the stipend stems from local funding gathered through “grant monies” and “operational funds” in the schools’ accounts.

The Lake Charles Charter Academy Foundation Bonus Supplements are a gift of appreciation to teachers, he explained.

“The board and the leadership teams at each school are constantly striving to reward our faculties’ and support staffs’ dedication and commitment with our appreciation of their performance with tangible dollars. That is one way in which we attract the best and the brightest to our charter schools.”

The foundation’s bonus supplements are broken down into four categories: full-time instructional staff, part-time instructional staff, full-time non-instructional staff and part-time non-instructional support staff.

For full-time instructional staff, $3,000 will be given to all instructional staff, including administrators. All instructional staff, including administrators, who were hired before March 1, 2023, can also receive $2,000.

A $1,000 performance bonus will be given for all certified teachers rated “Effective/Proficient” in compass. Compass is Louisiana’s educator support and evaluation system, according to the Louisiana Department of Education.

Certified teachers rated “Highly Effective” in compass will receive a $2,000 performance bonus.

Part-time instructional staff will receive one half of each amount listed for full-time staff.

All active full-time non-instructional support staff – paraprofessionals, student-service coordinators, nurses, aides and clerical staff – will receive a $2,900 bonus. Those hired before March 1, 2023 will receive a $2,000 retention bonus.

Part-time non-instructional support staff will receive one half of each amount listed for full-time non-instructional staff.