Week 7 in the Legislature

Pay Raise Finalized in the Budget Bill

On Thursday evening, the Senate finalized amendments to HB 1, the State Budget. This new version of the budget included the additional $357 million that had been recognized by the REC earlier this month. Despite an agreement with Senate leadership, the Senate Finance Committee did not put any of this additional funding towards teacher and school employee raises.  Pressure from leadership continued on the Senate floor and despite thousands of calls and emails from Louisiana teachers and school employees, they kept the raise at the same level: $800 for teachers/certified employees and $400 for support personnel.

Uninterrupted Planning Time for All Teachers

On Tuesday, May 25th, Senate Bill 128 by Senator Jackson was approved by the full Senate. This legislation would guarantee all public-school teachers 45-minutes of unencumbered planning time each day.

While some districts do offer their teachers a planning period, it’s often interrupted with meetings or being pulled into another class. This year, more than most, teachers have lost out on valuable planning time. Not only is this necessary for lesson planning, printing materials and planning for the day, it is often the only time that teachers have to use the bathroom, drink water or eat during the entire

Bricolage Academy Educators Win Union Election

NEW ORLEANS, LA - Today, Bricolage Academy Educators won their union election 42-18. The election was conducted by the National Labor Relations Board at the school this morning. The teachers, collectively known as Bricolage Academy Educators United (BAE-United), voted to affiliate with United Teachers of New Orleans (UTNO). 

 

“We’re feeling overjoyed that after 2 years of organizing we finally have a recognized union!” said Brittany Scofield, a Bricolage Academy music teacher. “ Our union will help promote equity and democracy in the workplace. Teacher working conditions are student learning conditions, and now that we have a real voice, we will help make decisions that benefit our students.” 

Week 6 in the Legislature

REC Recognizes Additional Money

On Tuesday, the Revenue Estimating Conference met to consider economic projections from economist who determined that the state has more money than previously thought. They increased their revenue projections for both this year and next by hundreds of millions of dollars.

Lawmakers will now have $357 million more to spend in the current fiscal year and $320 million more to spend next year. LFT is pushing legislators to use some of this additional money to fund further increases for teachers and school employees. We can and should match the pay increase seen in 2019 ($1000 for teachers and $500 for school employees), if not exceed it.

Teacher Safety in Classroom Discipline

House Bill 411 by Representative Hughes seeks to revamp school discipline procedures. While we can all support sensible, transparent and progressive discipline practices, we need to take measures to ensure that teachers and school employees are safe through that process. As currently written, this bill could take away the provision that insists that if a student is removed from the classroom three times then a parent conference be required before the student returns.

Tell OPSB: Follow CDC Thresholds for reopening

New Orleans continues to experience the highest rates of COVID-19 we have seen since the beginning of the pandemic. Governor Edwards announced on January 16th that the new UK strain of COVID-19, which is easier to spread, has been identified in the New Orleans area.

Week 5 in the Legislature

PLANNING TIME

Senate Bill 128 by Senator Katrina Jackson was approved by the Senate Education Committee this week. This legislation would guarantee all public-school teachers 45-minutes of unencumbered planning time each day.

While some districts do offer their teachers a planning period, it’s often interrupted with meetings or being pulled into another class. This year, more than most, teachers have lost out on valuable planning time. Not only is this necessary for lesson planning, printing materials and planning for the day, it is often the only time that teachers have to use the bathroom, drink water or eat during the entire school day.

PAY RAISES

This week, the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education held a Special Meeting to consider the MFP recommendation from the legislature, among other business. As you may remember, previously the legislature sent the MFP back to BESE to ask that they include more funding for teacher and school employee pay raises. At the meeting this week, BESE voted to amend their MFP proposal to match the recommendation from the Louisiana Legislature. BESE's MFP proposal now includes an $800 raise for certified 

On Tuesday the Revenue Estimating Conference will meet to re-consider revenue projections for...

Let's Talk About the Raise

Thousands of Louisiana educators wrote to their legislators asking them to reconsider the budget and fund larger pay increases, but on Thursday, May 27th the Senate finalized and approved the budget with no additional funding for schools or school employees.
 
The finalized budget has now been signed by both the Speaker of the House and the President of the Senate and is awaiting signature from the Governor. 
 
On Tuesday, June 8th the MFP (SCR 2) was approved by the full Senate .
 
After much back and forth, the MFP was finalized in the legislature and in the budget. It will provide for a 1.375% ($40 million) increase in per pupil funding (from $4,015 to $4,070 per student) as well as an $800 raise for every teachers/certified employee and a $400 for each non-certified support employee.