A large majority of Louisiana residents favor pay raises for public school teachers and an $8.50 minimum wage, according to the latest installment of LSU’s Louisiana Survey — results Gov. John Bel Edwards was quick to note in a statement and tweet out to his followers:
A newly released report by the @Research_LSU shows:✅ Nearly unanimous support for a pay raise for teachers, with 88%backing an increase✅ Bipartisan support in Louisiana for raising the minimum wage is at more than 80%#lalege #lagov— John Bel Edwards (@LouisianaGov) April 9, 2019
“This LSU survey highlights what we already know to be true: the majority of Louisianans, regardless of party affiliation, want to give our teachers a pay raise and increase the minimum wage," Edwards said. "During this legislative session, state lawmakers have the opportunity to approve bills that will make both a reality.
In his State of the State address Tuesday, Edwards voiced his support for both a $1,000 pay raise for public school teachers and a $9-per-hour state minimum wage, 50 cents higher than the amount in the LSU survey. The survey results showing bipartisan support for both of these issues and a budget surplus bode well for the governor as the legislative session begins.
According to the survey, 88 percent of residents support raising the salaries of public school teachers with 93 percent of Democrats, 90 percent of Independents and 80 percent of Republicans in favor.
The results further diverge among party lines when it comes to the issue of whether taxes should be raised in order to fund a teacher pay raise. Support then falls to 63 percent with Republicans accounting for the largest drop, to 51 percent from 80 percent.
The survey also found that three-fourths of residents thought the average teacher pay in Louisiana was lower than it actually is. The average salary for Louisiana public school teachers is $50,000 as compared to the average estimate of $37,602. But this difference did not affect opinions about wages.
When asked if they supported raising the minimum wage to $8.50 an hour, 81 percent of Louisianans were in favor of the idea. Louisiana does not have a state minimum wage, so its minimum wage is the federal minimum wage of $7.25 an hour.
However, the results changed drastically when residents were asked if they supported raising the minimum wage to $15 an hour, with support dropping to 85 percent of Democrats, 46 percent of Independents and 44 percent of Republicans.
The Public Policy Research Lab at LSU’s Manship School of Mass Communication conducts a series of surveys each year, polling Louisiana residents on their opinions on a variety of policies. This poll surveyed 917 Louisiana residents age 18 or older, with a margin of error of 4.6 percentage points.
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