The February Newsletter

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This month kicked off with the annual LFT Winter Conference. Members from Locals all over the state came together for the one-day summit in Baton Rouge.  Presentations mostly focused on the upcoming legislative session: our priorities as an organization and what to expect from the new legislators in the House and Senate.

The conference featured a number of compelling guest speakers who share many of our concerns and aspirations. Dr. Belinda Davis, one of the new members of the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education greeted members, outlined her priorities as a new member of the Board, and listened to concerns from LFT teachers and support staff about the overall direction of Public Education in Louisiana. Dr. Richard Baker, Associate Director of the LSU School of Education, spoke about their work to recruit new teachers into the profession. And Dr. Rodney Watson, Executive Director of the Louisiana Retired Teachers Association gave an extensive presentation about TRSL and the important role our retirement system plays in recruiting and retaining teachers and support staff. Unfortunately, our pension is under attack in the legislature because of a number of misconceptions about the system’s liability and sustainability, but Dr. Watson discussed the many reasons our pension is so successful and worth protecting.

If you would like to attend the next LFT state-wide meeting, please talk to your local leadership about how to get more involved.


Last year, 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.

Passing a new MFP with additional funding for schools or teacher/school employee raises is never guaranteed. It’s a long, bureaucratic process and there’s a lot of opportunities where something can go wrong. To learn more about the process, click here.

On Thursday, February 20th the MFP Task Force met to determine a recommendation for the K-12 school funding formula. After much debate, the committee voted to recommend that BESE propose a 2.75% increase in the MFP formula (about $80 million) and dedicate half of that to pay raises. The Task Force also recommended that any additional revenue recognized by the Revenue Estimating Conference go towards further pay raises. BESE does not have to heed the recommendation of the MFP Task Force, but they do need to make their proposal to BESE no later than March 15th. At that point, the legislature will begin their approval process.

It is still imperative that the REC pass a sensible revenue projection soon. The entire budget is based on their revenue projection and if the REC does not recognize all available revenue, then we will not see as much investment in the MFP. Click here to write an email to the REC demanding they take action now!

To track updates throughout the legislative session, visit


State Superintendent John White will vacate his position on March 11th and the process to find his replacement is underway. Applications for the next State Superintendent were due to BESE on Friday. Next, the BESE Superintendent Selection Work Group will review the applications, facilitate individual interviews and choose 1-3 finalists for consideration by the entire Board. The Work Group includes Jim Garvey (District 1), Ronnie Morris (District 6), Doris Voitier (Member-At-Large) and is chaired by Kira Orange Jones (District 2).

The new Superintendent must by approved by a supermajority (eight of 11) of BESE members and be confirmed by the Senate. BESE intends to have a new Superintendent in place before the end of the Legislative session on June 1st.

BESE has not yet outlined their priorities for a new State Superintendent, but we want to hear from you. As an educator in Louisiana, what do YOU think BESE should consider when choosing our state's next educational leader? Click here to let us know.


February 24th-28th was national Public Schools Week. Across the country teachers, support staff, administrators, specialists, teacher educators, parents, school board members, and community members took time to reflect on the value Public Education brings to our communities. Join us in taking the Public School Pledge:

"Today, I pledge my support for public education. America’s public schools educate nine out of 10 students in the United States—more than 50 million—regardless of ability, race, wealth, language, religion or country of origin, to prepare them for future endeavors. By pledging to support our nation’s public schools, I also am pledging to strengthen the future of our country."

In Louisiana, we used the occasion to highlight Walker High School in Livingston Parish as part of our Public School Proud series. They have incorporated a wide variety of programs into their curriculum to give students every possible opportunity and they’re still growing. Click here to see our exclusive video highlighting Walker High School.


The 2020 legislative session will begin on March 9th, and while pay increases and school funding are important, that isn’t all that matters. Educators have been systematically disrespected for years – so much so that nearly half of Louisiana teachers say they wouldn’t recommend their profession to the next generation. This needs to end and you can help. Click here to share your story so that we can amplify your voice and your experience at the capitol this year.