School Funding Next Year
On Friday, the Governor’s team presented his Executive Budget to the Joint Legislative Committee on the Budget. This spending proposal will be the baseline for budget negotiations throughout the legislative session and is expected to change before being finalized by both chambers in the final days of the session.
In this proposal, the Governor includes a meager amount for teacher and school employee pay raises: $400 pay increase for teachers/certified personnel and $200 for school support staff.
Being an educator is harder than ever. This year, teacher morale has plummeted. 44% quit after their first five years; those who can afford to retire or leave are doing just that. Fewer people are applying to work in our schools and Louisiana ranks 47th overall for teacher-friendliness. If we don’t work to address this now, and show our teachers and school employees how much we value their service, our schools will only continue to lose talented staff and our students will suffer.
Please join us in asking the Governor, the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education, and the Louisiana Legislature to pass a significant and sustained pay increase for teachers and school employees this year.
On March 2nd the MFP Task Force will meet to discuss its recommendation for the school funding formula. That recommendation will be considered by BESE as they make their recommendation to the Louisiana Legislature.
This month, after months of lobbying Louisiana state officials, on site teachers and school employees were finally granted access to the COVID-19 vaccine! “This is an important development for our teachers, school employees, and the communities they serve. Vaccinating teachers and school employees is one of the best tools we have to keep schools safe and open and today’s decision will go a long way towards getting us back to normal” said LFT President Larry Carter.
While access to the vaccine will help to remove some of the fear and uncertainty felt by teacher and support staff, it is important that schools prioritize ongoing mitigation measures like masks and physical distancing. The newest CDC guidelines released this month clearly state that the only way to have schools open safely, is to follow a combination of mitigation strategies with emphasis placed on the universal and correct wearing of masks and physical distancing. If your school is not following the mandatory safety protocols, please let us know by using this private reporting form.
American Rescue Plan
We are still struggling from the impacts of COVID-19, and our state needs a boost of funding to propel us out of this crisis. If passed, the American Rescue Act would put money in working families' pockets, invest in states & localities, fund public schools, and help curb the spread of COVID-19. There are many ways that you can take action to ask Senator Kennedy and Senator Cassidy to YES on the $1.9 trillion American Rescue Act. Send an email, make a phone call, and get active on social media. Click here to see how you can help!
National Reading Month
In honor of Dr. Seuss’ birthday, March is National Reading Month! This is a time to focus on reading, student literacy, and building daily reading habits.
LFT is proud to announce that with the help of the American Federation of Teachers and the First Book Marketplace, LFT Local Affiliates have acquired over 6,000 books to be donated to Louisiana’s schools. These books have been used to rebuild libraries, expand classroom selections, and help each student find their joy in reading.
Election Day – March 20th
Another Election Day is right around the corner. Polls will be open on Saturday, March 20th from 7 A.M. until 8 P.M. Early voting is March 6-13 (excluding Sunday, March 7) from 8:30 A.M.-6 P.M. You can check your registration status and polling location online at geauxvote.com.
BESE District 4: DR. CASSIE WILLIAMS
This district includes 10 parishes in Northwest Louisiana (Caddo, Bossier, Webster, DeSoto, Red River, Bienville, Sabine, Natchitoches, Winn, and Vernon).
U.S. Representative 2nd Congressional District: SEN. TROY CARTER
This district contains nearly all of the city of New Orleans and stretches west and north to Baton Rouge.