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Week 9: Teacher’s Appreciation Requires Action

This past week was Teacher’s Appreciation Week and we heard a lot of legislators say how much they appreciate our educators–will their actions match their words? 

Your unions are in the legislature fighting for your pay raise, fair workload, discipline, and safety

Both SB 205, which safeguards teacher’s right to a reasonable workload and fair compensation, and SB 213, which provides adequate time for support personnel to heal from injury while helping students, passed through the Senate and will be heard in the House on Tuesday.  ✅HB 322 will be heard on the Senate floor–this is the last vote before it hits the governor’s desk. This bill protects a teacher’s right to teach free from distraction.

The MFP and HB 1 are moving through the process in the Senate. LFT continues to advocate for the pay raise teachers were promised. 

While your unions fight to make your voice heard, legislators continue to say one thing while doing another. Like the broken promise of a pay raise, the amendments to the constitutional convention bill HB 800 feign protections for the MFP and public pension. 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 know you are overwhelmed and understand that there is a lot of information and asks of you. We see the work you are doing in the classroom while taking care of your families and communities. We appreciate you so much. And that’s exactly why we need your voice. 

More money, more broken promises 

On Thursday, 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!

HB 1 is set for public testimony in the Senate Finance Committee on Friday. This presents an opportunity for stakeholders to voice their opinions and concerns regarding teacher compensation. It's a critical moment to advocate for a permanent salary increase, ensuring that educators receive the recognition and support they deserve.

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

The fight forward–your unions are advocating for you!
Workload, Discipline & Safety

LFT exists to advocate for you and amplify YOUR voice. These bills were filed by your unions as a response to the challenges teachers and support staff told us they face in the classrooms–the same challenges that impact teacher shortages and retention. 

SB 205 heads to the House Education Committee 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.

ACT NOW:Fair workload & compensation

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

ACT NOW: ✅Adequate physical contact leave for school employees

✅HB 322 will be heard on the Senate floor this week protecting teacher’s right to teach free from distraction, so children in the class have the opportunity to learn.

This bill serves as a proactive measure to help children receive the help they need while maintaining a productive classroom environment. When a student’s behavior reaches a point where it impedes the safety or learning process for all students, teachers must have the authority to take appropriate action and have the support of administration and parents to do so. 

ACT NOW:Teach free from distraction


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–stop the attacks on public education!

Right now, the legislature is moving a bundle of bills through the state House and Senate that will hurt public education in the state for years to come. In addition to a dangerous constitutional convention, these bills threaten the very institution of public education, and the ability of teachers to help students learn. 

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. HB 571, HB 956, HB980, and HB 572 threaten to take away your right to be heard.

Educators have been told time and time again, “It's going to be okay.” And inevitably, it's not. That's why it's crucial: we don't let up, we keep pushing forward.

  • ❌ HB 800, the constitutional convention bill, is pending Senate Government Affairs. 
  • ❌HB 571, HB 956, HB 980 are scheduled to be heard in Senate Labor on Wednesday. 
  • ❌HB 572 will be up on the House floor this week. 


ACT NOW: 🚨Take action against this harmful legislation that could be detrimental to the future of public education in our state for years to come

❌Voucher Programs: Where is the Accountability?

In their original versions, voucher bills would have made vouchers universally available to all families through state funding, funneling public dollars away from public education. It was estimated at $260 million annually, while PAR put that number closer to $520 million. 

Now, before making a decision, a comprehensive survey of K-12 schools will be conducted. This survey would inform the creation of a voucher program by BESE. While the delay does postpone a decision on the amount of money to be allocated for ESAs, we still have a lot of unanswered questions and concerns over the lack of accountability. Private schools accepting public funds should be required to use the same accountability measures as public schools. Taxpayers should have a clear understanding that such a high dollar program is living up to its price tag. Proponents of voucher-like programs continue to push back on these common sense guide rails. The Senate (SB 313) and House (HB 745) each have their versions of the bill.

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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