BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - Protests against the Governor's education reforms echoed off the steps of the State Capitol Monday afternoon.
Several teachers' organizations announced their unity against reintroducing the education reform that passed last year.
A District Court has ruled teacher tenure overhauls, also called Act One, as unconstitutional, though the State Supreme Court will ultimately decide.
While both sides wait for a decision, the Governor's office plans to reintroduce Act One as four separate bills.
The five groups came together and released the following statement:
Educators Announce Unprecedented Unity in Opposition to Jindal Agenda
BATON ROUGE, LA – April 23, 2013 – In an unprecedented display of unity, leaders of the state's most influential education organizations announced their opposition to re-enacting elements of Governor Bobby Jindal's radical education agenda. Speaking from the steps of the State Capitol, spokespersons for the Louisiana School Boards Association (LSBA), Louisiana Federation of Teachers (LFT), Louisiana Association of Educators (LAE), Louisiana Association of School Superintendents (LASS), and Louisiana Association of School Executives (LASE) criticized the administration's legislative agenda as a mere "cut and paste" of what came before the Louisiana Legislature last year as Acts 1 and 2.
Both acts have been declared unconstitutional by district courts. Instead of working with stakeholders on meaningful, research-based education reform, the governor and his allies seem intent on rehashing the same failed policies that have frustrated educators and school boards across the state.
"There has been no meaningful or sincere collaboration between the Jindal administration and major public school stakeholders when it comes to this year's proposal," said LFT President Steve Monaghan.
LASS President Mike Faulk added, "We all share a strong desire to improve student achievement in a manner that embodies fairness, reliability, validity, and transparency, but have been excluded from the discussion."
Organization leaders said that while they stand ready to assist and work collectively on data-driven education reforms, the administration's aggressive push to implement the current and proposed policies is troublesome.
"The Jindal administration continues to back policies that veer from best practices and research-based strategies that are proven to improve student achievement," said LAE President Joyce Haynes.
"Each and every education stakeholder wants education reform proposals to result in educationally sound outcomes that take both students and educational communities into consideration," LSBA Executive Director Scott Richard said.
The leaders of the five groups emphasized their unity and eagerness to be a part of developing appropriate policies for the many dedicated public servants that work with our state's most valuable asset – Louisiana's children. For more information, each group can be reached respectively as follows: LAE Communications Specialist Ashley Davies – (504) 319-0846; LASS President Michael Faulk – (225) 791-0365; LFT Director of Public Relations Les Landon – (225) 923-1037; and LSBA Executive Director Scott Richard – (225)769-3191.