Week 2 in the Legislature

Two weeks into the legislative session and, so far, the legislature has yet to tackle the most controversial bills of the session. Committee meetings have focused on more mundane bills but an obvious elephant-in-the-room as tinged discussions. Legislators are finally waking up to the reality that our schools are in freefall. They are finally, beginning to see the teacher shortage for the crisis that it is. Next week several of the most crucial bills will be heard in committee and on the House floor. Find out what happened this week and what we can expect next week:

On Thursday, the House Education Committee heard a presentation from Dr. Kim Hunter Reed, Commissioner of Higher Education, and Representative Buddy Mincey on the Teacher Recruitment, Recovery and Retention Task Force.

Legislative Overview

The 2022 Legislative Session began Monday, March 14th at noon. LFT is already monitoring hundreds of bills this session, and legislation will continue to be filed until April 5th. Things can change quickly with little notice, whether it’s the agenda of a committee meeting or an amendment to a bill. Please follow us on Facebook and subscribe to our updates and follow along at la.aft.org/legislation so that you can stay up to date with everything happening at the Capitol.

Here are a few of the most important bills we are tracking this year:

BESE Update: March 2022

PAY RAISES
The MFP proposal reflects what the Governor proposed in his executive budget and was recommended by the LDOE for approval: $1,500 for teachers and $750 for support staff. Also included within the MFP proposal is a letter from BESE to the Legislature. In the letter, BESE urges that any additional funds recognized by the Revenue Estimating Conference in May be allocated for additional salary increases. In the event that the REC recognizes additional funding, BESE requests that the Legislature return the MFP formula to BESE so that they may revise and resubmit the formula to increase the pay raise to a minimum of $2,000 for certificated staff and $1,000 for non-certificated support staff.

State of Education IV

Teachers go to school for years so that they can understand how to help students learn. Student learning is the bedrock of everything they do in the classroom. The experience of seeing a student work to understand a concept and then finally ‘get it’ is one of the most rewarding experiences a teacher can have, and that is what drives educators to continue to do the work they do.

Unfortunately, over the last decade the teaching profession has changed significantly. Teachers don’t have the autonomy to individualize their lessons in the way their students might need. They don’t have the flexibility to utilize new techniques or materials that can inspire an unengaged student. Instead, they must stick to a strict curriculum designed to help students perform well on a very specific test.

State of Education III

Why Do Educators in Louisiana Get Paid So Little?

The Minimum Foundation Program is the funding formula for Louisiana public schools. It was established in order to determine the minimum cost of education in all public elementary and secondary schools. However, given the current state of our schools, one must ask: how much does it cost to educate a child in Louisiana?