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MFP Task Forces Passes Recommendation on School Funding

Today, the MFP Task Force met to discuss the funding formula for Louisiana K-12 Public Schools. Each year, the task force meets to develop a recommendation for the school funding formula. That recommendation will be considered by the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education when they develop their proposal for consideration by the Louisiana Legislature.

Meager Pay Raise or Meager Stipend? Ask the BESE and the Governor…

Today, Governor Edwards announced that he plans to include a small pay increase for teachers and school employees in his new Executive Budget. He proposed $400 for teachers and $200 for support employees. What remains unclear, is if this would result in a sustained raise or a one-time stipend, and whether or not there will also be additional monies put in level 1 of the MFP for schools to use more generally.

2nd Special Session: Week Two!

This week we conclude the second week in the ongoing Special Legislative Session, bringing us to nearly the half way point. Due to the oncoming Hurricane Delta, some meetings were moved up until earlier in the week, most notably both the House Education and Senate Education Committees conducted their weekly meetings at the same time on Wednesday morning. They both considered important legislation, but here are some of the highlights:

Ask the Senate Education Committee to Support SB 31

One of the most important bills that we will hear in this abbreviated legislation is Senate Bill 31 by Senator Cleo Fields. If passed, this bill would prohibit the use of statewide student assessments conducted during the 2020-2021 school year from being used to evaluate teacher performance. Essentially, schools could (and likely would) still have testing this year, but the scores couldn't count against a teacher's performance evaluation.

The Next Legislative Session Starts TOMORROW

The Louisiana legislature has convened a Special Session to begin Monday. It shall end no later than 6 P.M. on October 27, 2020 and there are 70 different items that may be subject to legislation during the session. Included in the items enumerated in the Call are state tax revenue and school funding, among others.
 
Because the session was called so quickly, there are still any number of different bills being written that could impact teachers, support employees and our students. While the session may be short, decisions will be made that could have a lasting impact on Louisiana schools and it is vital that educators stay up to date about the ongoing issues.

House Bill 59 - Does it Help Teachers?

All across the country, school officials are working to pass legislation that would shield them from lawsuits in the event that their employees or students were to contract COVID-19 at school. In Louisiana, this effort took form in House Bill 59, which was introduced at the request of the Louisiana School Boards Association. 

Tell Lawmakers to Put the Safety of Students and Educators First

UPDATE (6/24) -- Thank you for writing to your Representative about HB 59 – it worked! As you may have seen, HB 59 did pass on the House Floor this week, but LFT was able to work with the author to develop the needed amendments before the vote. This was only possible because so many of you spoke out about the need to protect school staff and most importantly, students from harmful practices.

The Legislative Session Began Monday!

The 2020 legislative session began Monday, March 9th. It kicked off with the Governor’s annual State of the State address on Monday afternoon and continued with a flurry of introductory committee meetings.

Learn more about LFT's five main legislative priorities this session: 

1. Reduce Unnecessary Testing
2. Secure Pay Raises and Increased School Funding
3. Protect Retirement
4. Improve School Safety & Discipline
5. Expand and Protect the Rights of Working People

Pay Raises & School Funding

On the state-level, school funding is determined by the Minimum Foundation Program (MFP). It's a funding formula for Louisiana public schools. The MFP is seperate from what local school districts raise to fund their schools through taxes and local bond initiatives. Part of the MFP is dedicated to general school funding — that money goes to local school districts to use at their discretion — and part is reserved specifically for school employee pay, but both are critically important.

In 2019, Louisiana took a step in the right direction regarding pay raises and school funding. For the first time in a decade, the legislature passed an MFP that guaranteed raises for every teacher and support employee in the state, but it’s not enough. We have years of disinvestment to make up for and Louisiana educators are still below the Southern Regional Average for pay, which is why it’s vital that this year we continue to move forward.

Click here to see updates and take action!