Agreement reached on teacher due process

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(Baton Rouge – April 18, 2014) This statement was released by Louisiana Federation of Teachers President Steve Monaghan this morning:

The governor’s office has announced that a substitute bill, HB 987 by Rep. Jeff  Thompson (R-Bossier City), has been introduced and contains language aimed at resolving certain concerns about the process outlined in Act 1 (2012) for disciplining and dismissing teachers.

Since January, the Louisiana Federation of Teachers and other stakeholders have worked with the governor's office to improve the process by addressing our shared concerns.

These discussions included an honest give-and-take and a frank sharing of all perspectives. Our conversations were limited to the sections of Act 1 dealing with the discipline and dismissal procedures (17:441,442, 443, and 444).

The LFT and others expressed our wide-ranging concerns with different aspects of the Act and shared our ideas regarding the sections on the table. The question before us is whether the proposal in HB 987 is a fairer and clearer process than under current law.

The Louisiana Federation of Teachers believes that the answer to that basic question is "Yes, it is better."

We look forward to working with all stakeholders to advance these changes and create a fair review process in those relatively rare instances where teachers may be subject to discipline or dismissal.

The Federation certainly reserves the right to consider- amendments that we believe strengthen the process further. We look forward to supporting the work of the participating stakeholders.