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The Louisiana legislature has convened a Special Session to begin Monday. It shall end no later than 6 P.M. on October 27, 2020 and there are 70 different items that may be subject to legislation during the session. Included in the items enumerated in the Call are state tax revenue and school funding, among others.
 
Because the session was called so quickly, there are still any number of different bills being written that could impact teachers, support employees and our students. While the session may be short, decisions will be made that could have a lasting impact on Louisiana schools and it is vital that educators stay up to date about the ongoing issues.
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All across the country, school officials are working to pass legislation that would shield them from lawsuits in the event that their employees or students were to contract COVID-19 at school. In Louisiana, this effort took form in House Bill 59, which was introduced at the request of the Louisiana School Boards Association. 

The original intent of this legislation was to protect economically disadvantaged school districts from frivolous lawsuits that could bankrupt the system, but it provided far reaching immunity to school boards (and later we saw the addition of colleagues/universities

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UPDATE (6/24) -- Thank you for writing to your Representative about HB 59 – it worked! As you may have seen, HB 59 did pass on the House Floor this week, but LFT was able to work with the author to develop the needed amendments before the vote. This was only possible because so many of you spoke out about the need to protect school staff and most importantly, students from harmful practices. As amended, the bill does not allow school districts to claim immunity if they violate federal, state or local laws or policy under this statue. If a claim covered by this statue arises, your ability to

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On Thursday, May 14th the Senate Education Committee will hear Senate Bill 298 by Senator Katrina Jackson. This important legislation has the potential to positively impact students and teachers across our state by removing VAM scores from teacher evaluations. Click here to send a letter to the committee members.

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The 2020 legislative session began Monday, March 9th. It kicked off with the Governor’s annual State of the State address on Monday afternoon and continued with a flurry of introductory committee meetings.

Learn more about LFT's five main legislative priorities this session: 

1. Reduce Unnecessary Testing
2. Secure Pay Raises and Increased School Funding
3. Protect Retirement
4. Improve School Safety & Discipline
5. Expand and Protect the Rights of Working People

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On the state-level, school funding is determined by the Minimum Foundation Program (MFP). It's a funding formula for Louisiana public schools. The MFP is seperate from what local school districts raise to fund their schools through taxes and local bond initiatives. Part of the MFP is dedicated to general school funding — that money goes to local school districts to use at their discretion — and part is reserved specifically for school employee pay, but both are critically important.

In 2019, Louisiana took a step in the right direction regarding pay raises and school funding. For the first time in a decade, the legislature passed an MFP that guaranteed raises for every teacher and support employee in the state, but it’s not enough. We have years of disinvestment to make up for and Louisiana educators are still below the Southern Regional Average for pay, which is why it’s vital that this year we continue to move forward.

Click here to see updates and take action!

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LFT’s representative on the Task Force is Legislative and Political Director Cynthia Posey and today, she fought back against attempts to limit school funding and raises. Over the last few weeks, LFT took your concerns to the Governor and today he showed he heard us. His team did propose funding for teacher raises. And ultimately, the Task Force came together to take a united step forward towards getting even more funding for schools, teachers, and supports staff.

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The MFP is the K-12 Funding Formula for Louisiana public schools. Passing a new MFP with additional funding for schools or teacher/school employee raises is never guaranteed. It’s a long, bureaucratic process and there’s a lot of opportunities for it to go wrong. Click here to learn more about the MFP and what we can do to ensure there's enough money available to pay for teacher and school employee raises. 

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[[{"type":"media","view_mode":"media_original","fid":"66354","attributes":{"alt":"","class":"media-image media-image-left","style":"width: 300px; height: 158px; float: left; margin: 10px;"}}]]Get to Know the REC

The Revenue Estimating Conference (REC) decides how much taxpayer money lawmakers are allowed to spend. They usually base their projections off of the recommendations of bi-partisan economists who have extensively studied the Louisiana economy, but once again the REC is playing politics instead of doing what's best for our state. 

 
Learn more about how the REC works and what you can do to make sure they pass a sensible revenue estimate now!
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