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Early childhood support requires adequate staffing

Some of education’s biggest problems come with its littlest students. At a working breakfast for paraprofessionals in prekindergarten, early childhood and Head Start, members swapped strategies for solving problems. Their discussion came during the AFT PSRP conference last week in Las Vegas, where paras from all over the country zeroed in on professional development and adequate classroom coverage.

Week 3: The Committees Weigh In

This week, the legislature was finally in full swing. Many bills passed through committee and are on their way to having a real-life impact on teachers, support staff, and their students throughout Louisiana. Here are some to watch:

Student Input...

Increased Transparency...

Minimum Wage...

Week 2: The MFP

On Tuesday the House Education Committee had their first meeting of the legislative session. Typically, the MFP resolution is heard much later in the legislative process, when legislators have a more accurate picture of the budget. This MFP reflects Governor Edwards' plan to increase school funding and educators' salaries and it was unanimously approved by BESE in March: $101 million for educator pay raises and $39 million for local school districts. This week, the House Education Committee voted to send the MFP back to BESE and asked them to remove $39 million for local school districts.

Week 1: Revenue

After a six month stalemate, the Revenue Estimating Conference (REC) finally came to a decision on the projected revenue for the state budget on Tuesday. Playing political games, Speaker Taylor Barras has again and again refused to recognize new revenues projected by bi-partisan economists. From the first meeting, economist testified that their projections were conservative, but Barras kept rejecting them until he received a report that satisfied his political goals.

 

Today is the first day of the Louisiana legislative session.

The Legislative Session is underway! 

This fiscal session will be very important for teachers and support staff all across the state and at LFT we will be watching closely. Each week throughout the session we’ll send out updates to keep you informed about what’s going on. This session is only 9 weeks long and we have a lot of work to do in order to protect our rights and ensure teachers and support employees get a raise – we need all hands on deck!

AFT launches massive national campaign to fund public education

The AFT’s long-time advocacy for public schools has just been turbo-charged, with a sweeping, multi-pronged campaign to fund the future of American public education. Amid the continuing wave of teacher activism shining a spotlight on massive shortfalls in education investment, the Fund Our Future initiative aims to take the teachers’ megaphone into Congress, statehouses and communities nationwide.

Never again

“A majority of American teens say they are worried about a shooting happening at their school. Let that sink in,” AFT President Randi Weingarten writes in her latest column for the New York Times. “Young people are demanding meaningful action beyond ‘thoughts and prayers.’ They know, as do law enforcement officers and educators, that there are effective ways to address gun violence.” Read more about the proven strategies that would enhance school safety and reduce gun violence.
 

Cutting the heart out of higher ed

Betsy DeVos wants to alter the DNA of higher education, trying to change the definition of the credit hour, eliminate student-faculty interaction in some programs and allow schools losing their accreditation to charge students tuition. And it’s all disguised in the wonky and overwhelming “negotiated rulemaking” review process that begins Jan. 15.