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Week 10: Promises Made, Promises Broken…Again and Again.

Promises Made, Promises Broken…Again and Again.

While your unions fight to protect your freedoms, legislators continue to say one thing while doing another. Contrary to promises made once the Convention convenes, anything and everything is open for debate–funding for public education, the homestead exemption, retirement for teachers and public employees and a host of other items safeguarded by the Constitution.

This week, the governor said during an event that if lawmakers are able to revise the constitution, they could unlock funding to cover the potentially huge cost of ESA programs, which could include the school funding formula.

Meanwhile, an article by Jeremy Alford highlights Governor Landry's chosen delegates have emphasized that "nothing is off the table" once the convention commences. Boysie Bollinger, one of the delegates, stated, “Nothing’s off the table once we start meeting as a convention. That’s my opinion; I’m not a lawyer.” Senate President Cameron Henry likened the amendments to “a gentleman’s agreement,” stating, “but obviously those aren’t legally binding.” Lane Grigsby, the Cajun Industries founder who Gov. Landry has also put forward as a potential delegate, said, “The amendments don’t add anything to the argument. They just give some people more comfort in terms of being able to vote for having a convention…They’re going to make the rules in committee.” 


We can do everything except pay teachers what they’re worth 

On Friday, LFT President Larry Carter testified in the Senate Finance Committee on ❌HB 1 urging lawmakers to keep their promises and pay teachers what they are worth. 

The Revenue Estimating Conference acknowledged an additional $89 million in recurring revenue. This same funding could have been earmarked for the permanent pay raise that was promised last session.

HCR 21, the MFP budget, is scheduled for discussion in the Senate this week. During the previous legislative session, the Senate passed a pay raise for educators, which was subsequently rejected by the House, with the false promise that the pay raise would be included in the MFP this year. Instead, BESE and the House of Representatives prioritized differentiated pay (another stipend), high dosage tutoring, an inflationary operational cost increase for districts and money for apprenticeships and internships as permanent expenditures in the funding formula. What was not included? A raise for you!

🚨ACT NOW: Demand the pay raise teachers and staff deserve 

Meanwhile, on Thursday, the Senate voted for a heavily rewritten bill to start the process for creating an ESA program in Louisiana while Gov. Landry watched from the side of the chamber. 

SB 313 will now head to the House. ESA programs funnel public funds away to private schools with little to no oversight and accountability. Again we ask, if teachers are really a priority, where is the support? ESA bills could have dangerous ramifications on our public education system for years to come. The Senate (SB 313) and House (HB 745) each have their versions of the bill.

The fight forward–your unions are advocating for you!

Workload, Discipline & Safety

LFT exists to advocate for you and amplify YOUR voice. 

HB 322, which protects a teacher’s right to teach free from distraction, unanimously passed out of Senate last week. It will now move to the Governor’s desk for signature—the final step required for it to become law.

This bill was filed by your unions as a response to the challenges teachers told LFT they face in the classrooms that impact their ability to teach and student's ability to learn.

We commend Rep. Stagni for his work to support educators and students. 

SB 205 will be heard in the House this week. This bill was filed by your unions to provide a lifeline for teachers, safeguarding your rights to a reasonable workload and fair compensation for your hard work.

SB 213 will also be heard in House this week, providing for secure and adequate time to heal from injury for support personnel who are injured while helping students. 

ACT NOW: ✅Fight for fair workloads & safety

✅SB 426 which provides paid parental leave for eligible employees of local education agencies is being heard in Senate Finance this week due to the high fiscal note. The most significant impact will be due to the requirement that the LDOE reimburse LAEs for all payments made to substitute employees while a permanent employee is on paid parental leave.

SB 207 which prohibits cell phones at school and can help to reduce distractions and improve the learning experience, passed through the Senate and awaits the House. 

HB 647 requires that any new instructional requirement added to instruction time would have to be offset by the elimination of a requirement of equal instructional time. We commend Rep. Romero for his efforts to alleviate the current workload. LFT will monitor this bill to ensure no additional amendments are added.

There are several bills that attempt to take away some of the burden on teachers, however LFT is concerned that they may fall short of really reducing the workload. 

  • ⚠️ HB 320 LFT supports any effort to lessen workload and commends Rep. Owen for his proactive approach. However, this bill allows BESE to undo changes and to impose additional requirements and will not completely offset the required training or curriculum mandates. Other legislative instruments will add back many of the training and curriculum requirements this bill removed. 
  • ⚠️ HB 115 Removes instructional requirements in grades K-3 for: Child assault and awareness prevention, litter prevention, mental health, water safety, internet and cell phone safety, eating disorder, substance abuse, and topics related to freedom for “Celebrate Freedom Week”.
  • ⚠️ HB 336 Requires that the current dyslexia screening use a new dyslexia screening computer software program in place of the current assessment. Teachers who are required to screen students will have to take additional professional development for the new assessment.
  • ⚠️ SB 508 Provides for high dosage tutoring for kindergarten through fifth grade students who either performed below grade level on a literacy or numeracy screener in the current academic year or failed to achieve mastery on statewide assessments in reading and math in the previous academic year. For those targeted students who do not have access to a highly effective teacher, high dosage tutoring is required and can include requiring a classroom teacher to provide tutoring in a small group session with a teacher to student ratio not higher than 1:4. This bill could also require that fourth and fifth grade teachers who have not completed the Science of Reading training to undergo 55-60 hours of additional training and kindergarten thru third grade teachers to complete numeracy training that fourth thru eighth grade teachers will have to complete by May 2026.

The fight back is not over yet!

On Wednesday, two proposed bills aimed at weakening our unions were defeated thanks to the tremendous efforts of over 150 union members and activists who rallied at the capitol. Senate Labor rejected both HB 571 and HB 980

Your voice was echoed in the committee room and outside the Capitol. We commend our members for your dedication and solidarity in this fight. This victory marks a crucial moment in our ongoing efforts to protect teacher’s rights.

However, we must not let up now. Other anti-union bills remain under consideration–

HB 572 could be heard as early as Monday. This bill would take away the ability of your unions to advocate for fair pay, workload, school safety, and other resources that benefit teachers and students.

Unions, like LFT, represent the interests of teachers and support staff who dedicate their professional lives to the children of the state. Your unions amplify your voice and support teachers and support staff in the areas that impact you the most. 

ACT NOW: 🚨Protect teacher’s rights

High Dosage Tutoring–SB 508 substitute bill for SB 288 

While LFT acknowledges the value of tutoring as supplementary support, it should not be prioritized over the teachers who are actually responsible for the post-pandemic academic gains that Superintendent Brumley, BESE, and tutoring company lobbyists attribute to tutoring. 

The reality is that only 2,000 students participated in the pilot programs, while the majority of the 500,000 students benefited from the extraordinary efforts of dedicated educators.

The allocated $30 million was designated under Level 4 of the MFP, which signifies permanent funding. However, it's crucial to note that this funding, as per LDOE testimony in the Senate Finance Committee, will be distributed to districts in block grants. It's not mandated to be USED ON THOSE STUDENTS WHO ARE IDENTIFIED AS IN NEED OF HIGH DOSAGE TUTORING. Ironically, Level 4 is where the permanent pay raise for teachers would have gone had BESE and the House of Representative made good on last session’s promise of a permanent raise. 

This begs the question, if highly effective teachers are considered the equal of high dosage tutoring, why are we not prioritizing teacher pay to attract and retain the best and the brightest instead of increasing teacher workload or online tutoring options?  

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