LFT Weekly Legislative Digest
The legislative mission of the Louisiana Federation of Teachers
An Excellent public education for all children is an economic necessity, an anchor of democracy, a moral imperative and a fundamental civil right. The LFT’s value-based vision of the promise of public education includes a commitment to fairness, equal opportunity to achieve, accountability at all levels, and access to resources for students, teachers, school employees and higher education faculty.
In keeping with the values that our union lives by, the LFT 2014 Legislative Agenda is focused on reclaiming the promise of public education by pursuing policy goals that:
- Create safe, welcoming public schools.
- Cultivate well prepared and supported teachers and staff.
- Develop engaging curriculum.
- Ensure wraparound services that address students’ social, health and emotional needs.
The Federation’s 2014 Legislative Agenda will address Common Core Curriculum Standards and the overuse and abuse of standardized testing.
- Implementation of Common Core has been a disaster. We must make sure that, no matter what standardized tests we use, students and teachers have all the resources they need to be successful.
- BESE keeps changing school performance scores. That’s confusing to parents and unfair to schools. It has to stop.
- School letter grades unfairly label schools without giving parents the information they need. Letter grades must reflect multiple measures that impact students’ ability to achieve, including poverty, availability of resources, nutrition, etc.
Our 2014 Legislative Agenda will seek to control the public funding of unaccountable non-public schools.
- BESE must stop overturning the decisions of local school boards that decide to reject charter applications. Decisions about spending local tax dollars local should be kept local.
- Voucher schools and course choice providers are not held to the same accountability standards as traditional public schools. Those who accept public funding must be held responsible spending taxpayer dollars.
- Spending money earmarked for state education grants to local school systems on course choice is wrong. Districts must be allowed to use grant funds to improve the services they offer students.
The LFT agenda will seek to undo the damage caused to teachers by the bogus “reforms” imposed in the 2012 legislative session.
- Teacher salaries should not depend on unproven, inaccurate and unfair evaluations.
- Our broken system of teacher evaluations should be de-linked from the granting and taking of tenure and reductions in force.
- Teachers must have real due process so they can challenge inaccurate results of teacher evaluations.
The LFT Agenda will protect the voice of teachers and school employees and defend their right to spend their paychecks as they choose.
- LFT will oppose efforts to prohibit union members from paying their dues through payroll deduction.
- Other private employers such as insurance companies and credit unions also enjoy the right to payroll deduction, and they also use that money to support political activity and lobbying at the capitol. We are asking for fair and equal treatment.
The LFT will work to preserve public retirement systems and keep local economies strong.
- The Louisiana Budget Project recently conducted a study proving that our public pension systems are valuable in attracting high quality workers, and are highly sustainable.
- The state has failed to pay its share of the unfunded accrued liability of state retirement systems. LFT will oppose any efforts to make employees work longer and pay more to cover the UAL of the systems.
- Our local economies depend upon public pension incomes. LFT will resist legislation that punishes local businesses by falling for the “unsustainability” argument pushed by big business.