(Baton Rouge – June 11, 2009) In an unprecedented intervention, four former Louisiana governors met privately with Governor Bobby Jindal today, and then publicly stated their dissatisfaction with his planned higher education budget cuts.
(Baton Rouge – June 3, 2009) By a five vote margin, the House of Representatives on Tuesday turned down a bill that, while touted as school board reform, was widely opposed by educators because it would have eroded a system of checks-and-balances between school boards and school superintendents.
Baton Rouge teachers, and their colleagues around the state, won a big victory in court last week. For years, the East Baton Rouge Parish School Board has required teachers and school employees who were injured on the job to submit to a drug test.
Louisiana's elementary and secondary schools are in deplorable condition - an estimate by the American Federation of Teachers pegs the cost of needed repairs and new construction at some $7.3 billion.
Two bills working their way through the legislature this year provide an answer to the problem. SB 90 by Sen. Cheryl Gray Evans (D-New Orleans) and HB 689 by Rep. Karen Carter Peterson (D-New Orleans) would set up and fund the Louisiana Statewide Education Facilities Authority.
As the Louisiana Legislature opened its regular session, thousands of teachers, school employees, students and friends of education across Louisiana were in mourning for public schools.
Around the state, "Black Monday" was observed by the wearing of black clothing. In Baton Rouge, a coalition of education organizations kicked off the session with a press conference urging lawmakers to reconsider drastic education cuts proposed by Gov. Bobby Jindal. The Louisiana Federation of Teachers, Louisiana Association of Educators and Louisiana School Boards Association, sponsors of Black Monday, put aside organizational differences and pledged solidarity in their fight to save public education.
Looming budget cuts to public education, from kindergarten through college, threaten to derail Louisiana's educational progress and darken our state's economic future, according to Louisiana Federation of Teachers President Steve Monaghan.
An editorial in last Friday's Advocate quoted State Superintendent of Education Paul Pastorek as saying, “Teaching to the test is a good thing, because what students need to learn is on the test.”
That comment raises some eyebrows at the LFT office - we felt that most teachers believe teaching to the test is not the best way to impart knowledge, develop critical thinking skills and imbue in students a lifelong ambition to learn.
(Baton Rouge – March 24, 2009) Longtime labor leader and education advocate Nat LaCour was inducted into the Louisiana AFL-CIO Labor Hall of Fame in a ceremony Monday night at the AFL-CIO’s annual convention at the Baton Rouge Hilton Capitol Center.