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. 

 

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Week 4 in the Legislature

Senate Bill 117 by Senator Tarver Stopped in Committee
At the Senate Education Committee meeting on Thursday, May 27th, Senate Bill 117 was modified. While we're disappointed that this legislation will no longer serve its intended purpose, the Senate President has agreed to help us pass a resolution to prevent teachers and students from being unfairly held to the usual accountability standards after learning was disrupted by a global pandemic and multiple natural disasters…circumstances outside of anyone’s control....

Pay Raise Proposal Modified in House and Senate
This week the House passed a budget (HB 1) for the upcoming fiscal year. The budget still needs to be approved by the Senate and will likely changed. The good news: The House’s budget does include money for teacher and school employee pay raises. The bad news: it’s not as much as we had hoped. The budget includes a $800 pay raise for teachers/certified employees and $400 for classified personnel. This is more than what was originally proposed by BESE in March ($400 and $200), but less than what had been recommended by the Senate Education Committee last week ($1000 and $500).

 
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Week 3 in the Legislature

The MFP is Sent Back to BESE
On Thursday, the Senate Education Committee considered SCR 2, which is the legislative vehicle for the MFP – the school funding formula. The Committee decided to return the MFP to the Board of Elementary and ask that they increase the teacher/school employee pay raise. The recommendation they submitted to BESE, calls for a $1,000 increase for teachers/certified personnel and $500 for uncertified personnel.

HB 256 by Rep. Tarver APPROVED by the House Education Committee
If passed, this legislation would allow predatory organizations to recruit members and extract dues from school personnel, even when there is a union with collective bargaining & exclusivity. This means that the alternate and potentially exploitative organizations could make promises to “represent” and “advocate” for members, but wouldn’t actually be able to make good on those promises – leaving unsuspecting teachers and support staff left in the lurch. 
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The Legislative Session is Underway!

The 2021 Legislative Session began Monday, April 12th and LFT is tracking nearly 50 bills, all with the potential to impact Louisiana teachers, school employees, and their students. Our primary areas of focus include legislation around teacher & student evaluations, ensuring a pay raise for teachers & school employees, protecting employees’ union rights and protecting public funding sources for public education.

Here’s what you need to know:
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The March Newsletter

PAY RAISES

On March 10th the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education (BESE) passed their proposal for the minimum foundation program (MFP) – the funding formula for Louisiana’s K-12 schools.
 
During the meeting, the Board decided to heed the recommendation from the MFP task force: passing a proposal that calls for an $80 million dollar increase in the MFP. The task force had decided on a 1.375% increase (or $40 million) put into Level 1 of the MFP for general classroom funding and another 1.375% increase, put into level 3, for raises. That comes out to $400 increase for teachers and $200 for school employees, spread out over the entire year - a meager raise. LFT was one of only two organizations in the state to oppose this proposal, and has consistently pushed for a larger pay increase.
 
In an unprecedented turn of events, the letter that BESE sent to the legislature, which outlines their MFP proposal, made a slight, but important, deviation from the task forces' recommendation. Instead of putting $40 million into level three where it would necessarily go towards raises and and the supplementary retirement benefits, BESE directed that funding to level 4, which is the portion of the MFP that goes towards supplementary allocations for specific programs such as career training experiences, dual enrollment and enrichment courses, assistance with high cost special education services, and recruitment and employment of international associate teachers.
 
LFT has consistently called on the BESE and the legislature to match the pay increase seen in 2019: $1,000 increase for teachers and $500 for support personnel, at a minimum. This plan requires a $101 million increase to level 3 of the MFP, which is the portion of the school funding formula that provides for employee salaries.  
 
As the MFP proceeds to the legislature for approval, LFT will continue to work towards a larger raise for teachers and school employees during this 
 
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The February Newsletter

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.  
 
 
Being an educator is harder than ever. This year, teacher morale has plummeted
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