February 12, 2016 – BATON ROUGE, LA – The leaders of Louisiana’s two largest public education unions – the Louisiana Federation of Teachers and the Louisiana Association of Educators – announce a partnership on legislative goals for the 2016 special session set to begin on February 14.
“Joining forces in our efforts to motivate positive change in education politics gives Louisiana educators a stronger voice with which to advocate for their schools and their classrooms,” said LAE President Debbie Meaux. “Both LAE and LFT seek the best outcomes for Louisiana’s students, and I believe that we can achieve powerful results by working together.”
“We can accomplish far more together than we can by remaining divided,” said LFT President Steve Monaghan. “During the last legislative session and the gubernatorial election, we demonstrated the power that teachers and school employees can wield when we find our common ground and look for solutions that work for our members, our students and our schools.”
The special legislative gathering, which will preface the state’s regular session set to begin March 14, is expected to be contentious, as lawmakers attempt to find solutions to plug a nearly $2 billion hole in the state budget. The LFT and LAE’s top priority: maintaining state funds earmarked for Louisiana’s public schools.
“Governor Edwards and the Legislature are facing Louisiana’s worst crisis in decades,” Monaghan said. “Our members expect the Legislature to work with the governor and act in the best interest of the state. Now is not the time for partisan chest-beating or for trying to score political points. We can survive this crisis and set the state on firm fiscal footing, but only if our leaders put aside their differences and concentrate on what really matters for our common future.”
“We cannot allow Louisiana’s public schools to become victims of slash-and-burn budget cuts. To that end, we are jointly encouraging our members to speak with their legislators about the importance of maintaining MFP funding levels,” Meaux said. “The future of our children depends upon adequate educational opportunities, and that starts with an equitably funded budget that provides our schools and our students with the tools they need to flourish in the 21st century.”
Both Meaux and Monaghan agree that working collaboratively will be key in influencing critical budgetary decisions as they relate to the sound funding of Louisiana’s public schools. For more information, contact LFT Public Relations Director Les Landon at 225.773.7419 or LAE Communications Specialist Ashley Davies at 504.319.0846.