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How Do You Feel: LDOE extends the deadline for eSER data, but not for IEP entry.

After receiving emails from hundreds of LFT members, LDOE announced that they would give teachers until December 16th to get all their information into the glitchy eSER system. Teachers are still required to get in all their IEPs by October 1st, the only difference is that now you're allowed to submit them on paper, as long as you re-enter the information into the electronic system by December 16th.

Don't Penalize Special Education Teachers -- Extend the Deadline!

Louisiana's new electronic Special Education Reporting System (eSER) isn't working. It's the new platform that the Louisiana Department of Education (LDOE) implemented to track Individualized Education Plans (IEPs) for special education students. The rollout of this new electronic database has been riddled with bugs and defects that make it difficult, if not impossible for the special education teachers forced to use it.

Sharing more pathways to student debt relief

As the landscape of student debt shifts, and more and more opportunities allow borrowers to have their debt relieved, the AFT is using every avenue to ensure that the word is out. In affiliate meetings, telephone town halls, media coverage and social media, the union is spreading the news, and at a student debt clinic at AFT headquarters in Washington, D.C., on Aug. 31, AFT President Randi Weingarten vowed to reach as many people as possible with information that could save them tens—and sometimes hundreds—of thousands of dollars.

Celebrating student loan relief

“It was like waking up and learning you won the lottery.” That’s just one of the comments flooding the AFT offices from members who are elated to be free of student debt at last. After relentless advocacy, including an AFT lawsuit against former Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, the Public Service Loan Forgiveness program that was so broken is finally doing what it is supposed to do: delivering relief from student debt for thousands of borrowers. So far, $6.2 billion in student debt has been forgiven for 100,000 public service workers like teachers, nurses and professors.

The December Edition

​Special Message from President Carter

I want to thank all of LFT members for their dedicated service to the students of Louisiana. I know that this year has been difficult and when I look around this state and see so many teachers and school employees finding success and joy in the midst of difficulty, I feel inspired. But we cannot overlook that the role of teachers is rapidly evolving, becoming in many ways more difficult. The COVID-19 pandemic has severely disrupted education systems across Louisiana, the country, and around the world; changing what classrooms and learning looks like on a daily basis. All school personnel have had to navigate a constantly shifting landscape with the health of students, teachers, paraprofessionals, office professions, custodial staff, food service staff, bus drivers, and the community at large at stake.

The January Edition

This month, the Governor announced his Executive Budget. Each year the Governor releases his proposed budget, based on the revenue recognized by the state Revenue Estimating Conference, and it is largely considered to be the starting point for the state budget process.

In this year’s budget, the Governor proposed a $1,500 raise for teachers and $750 for school employees. He also said that if the REC recognizes additional revenue at their meeting in May, $49 million should go towards funding an additional $500 pay increase for teachers.

This raise would be the largest state-wide pay raise that Louisiana teachers have received in over a decade, and there are already members of the legislature questioning whether or not such an amount is feasible. But the truth is, this isn’t enough. Our schools have gone through cataclysmic changes in the last couple years. Educators feel like they’re working more than ever. Teacher retirement has gone up 25% from 2020-2021 and enrollment in teaching programs is at an all-time low. In order to get out of this hole we’re in, Louisiana needs to do more than just a few hundred dollars better than what was done last year, we need policy makers to recognize the extraordinary sacrifice of our teachers and school employees and rise to this extraordinary moment in history.

Louisiana is nearly $5,000 below the Southern Regional Average, and given teacher raises that are being proposed in other states, that number is only going up. Teachers deserve at least a $2,500 increase this year and next year, along with guaranteed cola increases in perpetuity, so that we don’t fall back into this hole again.

The September Edition

On August 29th, Hurricane Ida made landfall on Southeastern Louisiana destroying property, damaging homes, and leaving many citizens without power or potable water for weeks on end. We are still working to repair the extensive damage and care for those who lost the most. It’s clear that the rebuilding and recovery efforts will take time.

AFT Hardship Relief Grants for Members
There is still time to apply -- APPLICATIONS ARE DUE FRIDAY, OCTOBER 1ST.

Special Statement from LFT President Larry Carter on the Aftermath of Hurricane Ida

I am heartbroken to see the damage across Southeastern Louisiana done by Hurricane Ida. While we are no strangers to hurricanes, this exceptional storm has made a significant impact throughout the state, particularly in our low-lying areas in the Southeast. Many homes were damaged or destroyed and hundreds of thousands of people remain without power. Rebuilding our homes and communities may take months.

This week, with the assistance of our national affiliate, the American Federation of Teachers, we have reached out via text to our members in areas impacted by the storm. We have successfully connected with thousands of our members and I am happy to report that the majority of the LFT family is safe, for now, but we have a long road to recovery before us.

The August Edition

COVID Spikes Across the State

On August 25th, Louisiana reported the single deadliest day of the entire pandemic, with 139 deaths from COVID-19 and 3,814 new cases. Unlike previous waves of the virus, the delta variant is further impacting children. On Wednesday, August 25th, COVID claimed its youngest victim, a child under the age of one. In total, 11 children have died from COVID in Louisiana, many more have been hospitalized, and over 6,000 K-12 students have tested positive.

LFT Asks BESE for Waiver to Protect Teachers

Dear President Holloway and Superintendent Brumley:

Due to the COVID-19 global health pandemic, the 2020-2021 school year was extremely challenging for students, families, and teachers. Unprecedented natural disasters, including Hurricanes Marco, Laura, Sally, Beta, and Delta in 2020 and the winter storm of February 2021, drastically disrupted the school year in multiple parishes. Students across the state were subjected to different levels of in-person instruction, online instruction, and instruction in a hybrid format of both in-person and online instruction. MORE