The December Newsletter

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This year has gone by so fast, but through our collective power we’ve accomplished a lot. From raises, to new friends and election victories, 2019 has been a year to remember.

Thank you for being a member of the Louisiana Federation of Teachers and School Employees.

This year has gone by so fast, but through our collective power we’ve accomplished a lot. From raises, to new friends and election victories, 2019 has been a year to remember.

In early 2019 we founded the Louisiana Public School Coalition (LPSC). Together we represent the major stakeholders in Louisiana Public Education: Louisiana Federation of Teachers, Louisiana Association of Educators, Louisiana Association of Principals, Louisiana Association of School Superintendents, Louisiana School Boards Association, and the Louisiana Retired Teachers Association. Historically, these groups have not always gotten along, and occasionally we differ on certain issues, but by coming together we have managed to lift up the voices of every Louisiana citizen who relies on our public schools.

At February’s Winter Conference we kicked off our campaign to secure a raise for every teacher and support employee in the state. We kept the momentum going throughout the Spring with the LPSC’s state-wide series of Public Education forums where legislators answered your questions about school funding, teacher recruitment/retention, and teacher/school employee pay.

This legislative session marked monumental gains for Louisiana education. We won the first state-wide pay raise in a decade; fought off attempts to privatize and weaken teacher retirement; protected local control over ITEP and so much more.

At the summer Leadership Retreat Local Leaders from all over Louisiana came together to strategize about how to build power for teachers and support staff. The multi-day meeting in Woodworth, Louisiana gave us a chance to refocus after the chaos of the school year.

When the new school year began our members and staff signed up hundreds of their colleagues at back-to-school events across the state. In the months that followed, thousands of new teachers and support staff joined the LFT family. Moreover, we partnered with First Book to give away hundreds of books to children and classrooms in need.

Then, came election season. With the Governor’s seat up for reelection as well as a plethora of legislative seats and the entire BESE board, we had our work cut out for us. LFT members and staff came together with the American Federation of Teachers, the AFL-CIO, and organizations across the state to make calls, knock on doors, send texts, put up signs, and more. In total, LFT reached tens of thousands of voters. Thankfully, that work paid off and Governor Edwards was reelected along with a number of pro-public education legislators.  

After the November elections we went straight into Convention. Jefferson Federation of Teachers hosted this year’s conference in Kenner, LA. The two-day gathering included delegates from LFT Locals all over the state, local dignitaries, President Randi Weingarten of American Federation of Teachers and more. During the convention LFT recognized the exceptional accomplishments of select Locals and community members. Representatives attended workshops, committee meetings and helped sculpt LFT priorities for the year to come.

This snapshot of the major milestones in 2019 barely scratches the surface of what we accomplished. All the work that you have done on the local level to improve the lives of teachers and support staff every day is truly the backbone of our Union. Thank you for all that you do for the children of Louisiana and the teaching profession! The power in you becomes the strength in us.  

We wish you a wonderful holiday season and rejuvenating winter break!