Action Alert: Fighting For Pay Raises

Late Monday afternoon, the Senate Finance Committee finalized their budget, which includes the additional revenue recognized by the REC last week. Despite commitments from multiple legislators, including Senate Finance Chairman Bodi White, none of the additional revenue went towards teacher and school employee pay raises.
 
It’s time for Louisiana legislators to step up and show teachers that their profession is worthwhile and their work is important. Otherwise we will keep losing our talented educators and Louisiana's students will continue to fall behind. When schools reopened this past fall, Louisiana’s teachers and support staff were there in the schools, transporting, feeding and teaching our children. Unlike their counterparts in other parts of the country they were there for our children despite fear for their health and the health of their families. They stepped up and did their part. It’s is time for our elected officials step up and do theirs
 

Join us in asking the Senate to amend the budget and increase pay raises for teachers and school employees.

Week 6 in the Legislature

REC Recognizes Additional Money

On Tuesday, the Revenue Estimating Conference met to consider economic projections from economist who determined that the state has more money than previously thought. They increased their revenue projections for both this year and next by hundreds of millions of dollars.

Lawmakers will now have $357 million more to spend in the current fiscal year and $320 million more to spend next year. LFT is pushing legislators to use some of this additional money to fund further increases for teachers and school employees. We can and should match the pay increase seen in 2019 ($1000 for teachers and $500 for school employees), if not exceed it.

Teacher Safety in Classroom Discipline

House Bill 411 by Representative Hughes seeks to revamp school discipline procedures. While we can all support sensible, transparent and progressive discipline practices, we need to take measures to ensure that teachers and school employees are safe through that process. As currently written, this bill could take away the provision that insists that if a student is removed from the classroom three times then a parent conference be required before the student returns.

Week 5 in the Legislature

PLANNING TIME

Senate Bill 128 by Senator Katrina Jackson was approved by the Senate Education Committee this week. This legislation would guarantee all public-school teachers 45-minutes of unencumbered planning time each day.

While some districts do offer their teachers a planning period, it’s often interrupted with meetings or being pulled into another class. This year, more than most, teachers have lost out on valuable planning time. Not only is this necessary for lesson planning, printing materials and planning for the day, it is often the only time that teachers have to use the bathroom, drink water or eat during the entire school day.

PAY RAISES

This week, the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education held a Special Meeting to consider the MFP recommendation from the legislature, among other business. As you may remember, previously the legislature sent the MFP back to BESE to ask that they include more funding for teacher and school employee pay raises. At the meeting this week, BESE voted to amend their MFP proposal to match the recommendation from the Louisiana Legislature. BESE's MFP proposal now includes an $800 raise for certified 

On Tuesday the Revenue Estimating Conference will meet to re-consider revenue projections for...

Let's Talk About the Raise

Thousands of Louisiana educators wrote to their legislators asking them to reconsider the budget and fund larger pay increases, but on Thursday, May 27th the Senate finalized and approved the budget with no additional funding for schools or school employees.
 
The finalized budget has now been signed by both the Speaker of the House and the President of the Senate and is awaiting signature from the Governor. 
 
On Tuesday, June 8th the MFP (SCR 2) was approved by the full Senate .
 
After much back and forth, the MFP was finalized in the legislature and in the budget. It will provide for a 1.375% ($40 million) increase in per pupil funding (from $4,015 to $4,070 per student) as well as an $800 raise for every teachers/certified employee and a $400 for each non-certified support employee. 

 

Week 4 in the Legislature

Senate Bill 117 by Senator Tarver Stopped in Committee
At the Senate Education Committee meeting on Thursday, May 27th, Senate Bill 117 was modified. While we're disappointed that this legislation will no longer serve its intended purpose, the Senate President has agreed to help us pass a resolution to prevent teachers and students from being unfairly held to the usual accountability standards after learning was disrupted by a global pandemic and multiple natural disasters…circumstances outside of anyone’s control....

Pay Raise Proposal Modified in House and Senate
This week the House passed a budget (HB 1) for the upcoming fiscal year. The budget still needs to be approved by the Senate and will likely changed. The good news: The House’s budget does include money for teacher and school employee pay raises. The bad news: it’s not as much as we had hoped. The budget includes a $800 pay raise for teachers/certified employees and $400 for classified personnel. This is more than what was originally proposed by BESE in March ($400 and $200), but less than what had been recommended by the Senate Education Committee last week ($1000 and $500).

 

Week 3 in the Legislature

The MFP is Sent Back to BESE
On Thursday, the Senate Education Committee considered SCR 2, which is the legislative vehicle for the MFP – the school funding formula. The Committee decided to return the MFP to the Board of Elementary and ask that they increase the teacher/school employee pay raise. The recommendation they submitted to BESE, calls for a $1,000 increase for teachers/certified personnel and $500 for uncertified personnel.

HB 256 by Rep. Tarver APPROVED by the House Education Committee
If passed, this legislation would allow predatory organizations to recruit members and extract dues from school personnel, even when there is a union with collective bargaining & exclusivity. This means that the alternate and potentially exploitative organizations could make promises to “represent” and “advocate” for members, but wouldn’t actually be able to make good on those promises – leaving unsuspecting teachers and support staff left in the lurch.