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The January Edition

— JANUARY —

Pay Raise Proposal

This month, the Governor announced his Executive Budget. Each year the Governor releases his proposed budget, based on the revenue recognized by the state Revenue Estimating Conference, and it is largely considered to be the starting point for the state budget process.
 
In this year’s budget, the Governor proposed a $1,500 raise for teachers and $750 for school employees. He also said that if the REC recognizes additional revenue at their meeting in May, $49 million should go towards funding an additional $500 pay increase for teachers.
 
This raise would be the largest state-wide pay raise that Louisiana teachers have received in over a decade, and there are already members of the legislature questioning whether or not such an amount is feasible. But the truth is, this isn’t enough. Our schools have gone through cataclysmic changes in the last couple years. Educators feel like they’re working more than ever. Teacher retirement has gone up 25% from 2020-2021 and enrollment in teaching programs is at an all-time low. In order to get out of this hole we’re in, Louisiana needs to do more than just a few hundred dollars better than what was done last year, we need policy makers to recognize the extraordinary sacrifice of our teachers and school employees and rise to this extraordinary moment in history.
 
Louisiana is nearly $5,000 below the Southern Regional Average, and given teacher raises that are being proposed in other states, that number is only going up. Teachers deserve at least a $2,500 increase this year and next year, along with guaranteed cola increases in perpetuity, so that we don’t fall back into this hole again.
 

LFT Legislative & Political Summit

The pay raise is just one of LFT’s priorities in the upcoming legislative session. It is incredibly important that Louisiana’s teachers and school employees get the raise they deserve, but we must also undo the damage that two decades of “reforms” have had on the teaching profession. Today, too many teachers are bogged down with unnecessary paperwork, pointless meetings, and overly prescriptive curriculum that strives to achieve scores on a test rather than address the needs of the students in their classroom. Throughout this pandemic, teachers have proven themselves again and again, and it’s time for policy makers to simply let teachers teach.
 
If you would like to learn more about the upcoming legislative session and political season, please talk to your Local representatives about attending the Virtual LFT Legislative and Political Summit on the morning of Saturday, February 19th.
 

Parents Support Teachers, According to New Survey

Too often, teachers and school employees can feel undervalued and underappreciated, but a new poll from Hart Research Associates gives us hope. The results from this national survey show that parents overwhelmingly support their public-school teachers and respect the work they have done throughout the COIVD-19 pandemic to keep their children learning!
 
  • 78% of parents endorse the quality and performance of their teachers.
  • 80% of parents say their children’s teachers communicate with parents and keep them informed
  • By a 31-point margin, parents feel that teachers’ unions have a positive, rather than negative, effect on the quality of education provided by public schools, a 23-point jump since 2013!
 

Campaign to Spread Awareness About Need for School Funding

 

 
LFT is launching a state-wide radio campaign next month!
 
The past two years have put an incredible strain on teachers, school employees and their students. COVID-19 and its continuous stream of variants has killed over 15 thousand people in Louisiana alone and caused long term social and emotional damage to the children of this state. Now more than ever, we need to prioritize the overall health of our students. Increasing our vaccination rate will help life return to normal, but we also need to increase school funding in order to support mental health services, teacher and school employee retention and recruitment, remediation programs to help students catch up and more. We have seen how important schools are, now it’s time to give them the funding that our students and teachers deserve.
 
This legislative session, LFT is calling on all of our state legislators to recognize the incredible accomplishments of our teachers and school staff throughout the pandemic. Let’s finally give them the support that they need to thrive!
 

Free College for You and Your Family

Are you, or any of your family members interested in getting their Associate’s Degree? What about their Bachelor’s Degree? College doesn’t have to be expensive, if someone in your family is an LFT member. AFT and Union Plus offer all members and their family members the opportunity to earn a full bachelor’s degree with no out-of-pocket costs: no tuition payments, fees or even books! “Family members” includes your spouse or domestic partners, children, grandchildren, siblings, nieces, nephews and dependents. Click here to learn more.
 
Not interested in free college? There are still tons of other benefits for LFT members and their families. As a member, you have access to scholarships, free trauma counseling, student debt relief counseling as well as discounts on hotels, car rental, flights, mortgage programs, computers, new cars and so much more. Click here to learn more.