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The July Newsletter

Can you believe summer is almost over? Sometimes it can feel like things never slow down, but as we prepare for the back-to-school season to begin, here are some July highlight

 

Weingarten: Educators must save democracy

“Teachers have always had power,” AFT President Randi Weingarten told the crowd at the TEACH opening plenary Thursday afternoon. “We need to own our power. And we need to build our power so we can move our agenda—for our students and our families; for safe, welcoming and well-funded public schools; for affordable higher education; healthcare that is a right, not a privilege; a living wage; a decent retirement; a healthy climate and a strong democracy.”

The June Newsletter

 
 
 
Despite the end of school and the onset of summer, June proved to be a jam-packed month with lots of exciting developments for teachers and support staff across Louisiana.

Best economy ever?

In AFT President Randi Weingarten’s latest column in the New York Times, she writes that, despite President Trump’s claims that we have the “best economy ever,” his policies are harming working and middle-class Americans, many of whom are struggling just to get by. “Our political and economic systems are so weighted toward the wealthy that opportunity will only come through the power of collective action,” she writes, using “the surest vehicles to increase opportunity for ordinary Americans”—public education, labor unions and voting. Read the full column.

Week 9: The End

Yesterday evening the 9-week Louisiana legislative session came to a close. It was a fast-paced term with lots of legislation that had the potential to impact the lives of every day teachers and support staff in Louisiana. Here are the highlights:

WEEK 8: Educators Come Together

Louisiana Federation of Teachers and School Employees and the entire Louisiana Public School Coalition (LPSC) hosted two lobby days at the Capitol this week: Tuesday and Wednesday. Hundreds of teachers, support staff, principals, superintendents, school board members and retired teachers joined forces to lobby their legislators in the House of Representatives around a common message: support Senate Concurrent Resolution 3! SCR 3 is the legislative approval of the MFP, which provides for $101 million in educator pay raises and $39 million in increases for local school districts.

Week 7: The Final Stretch

RAISES FOR TEACHERS AND SUPPORT EMPLOYEES

There are less than two weeks left in the legislative session. It’s down to the wire and yet, the House Education Committee is still working to block passage of the MFP funding plan in every way that they can. They need to hear from you. Call the House Switchboard right now and ask to leave a message for your representative:

WEEK 6: The MFP Goes Back to the House

THE MFP PASSES THE SENATE

On Wednesday, the Senate passed SCR 3, which is the MFP! This funding plan was unanimously passed by BESE in March and would secure $101 million for pay raises for teachers and support employees and $39 million for local school districts. Securing this funding in the MFP is crucial because it can not be taken away from one year to the next! The Senate vote was nearly unanimous (Senator Appel of Metairie was the only 'no' vote). Click here to send a thank you note to your senator.

Week 5: The House Budget

On Monday, the House Appropriations Committee approved a $30 billion budget. On Thursday, it passed through the senate floor nearly unanimously. This budget includes a pay increase of $1,200 for teachers and $600 for support staff, which is slightly more than the proposal made by the Governor and the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education (BESE), but contains major problems:

Week 4: The MFP in Senate Education

On Thursday morning, the Senate Committee on Education voted to approve the MFP that was unanimously approved by the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education (BESE) in March. This is the same MFP that the House Education Committee rejected on April 16th: it includes $101 million for raises for teachers and support staff as well as $39 million for local school districts. The resolution was passed out of committee with nearly unanimously support (6 'yes' to 1 'no'), with Senator Conrad Appel as the lone 'no' vote on the committee.