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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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We can’t make this stuff up.

From the Lawyer’s Desk

By Larry Samuel, General Counsel
Jefferson Federation of Teachers
 
We can’t make this stuff up.
 
So, here is the setting. A school board meeting in California is about to begin, by Zoom. Before the meeting, the school board members were talking amongst themselves. Or so they thought.
 
Turns out, the mic was on and the public was already listening in.
 
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Educators Can Get the Vaccine!

Over the last few months, JFT has been working with our state affiliate, the Louisiana Federation of Teachers, to broaden vaccine eligibility to include teachers and school employees. Today, the Governor announced that he would do just that: On Monday, all teachers and school employees will be able to start receiving the vaccine.

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JFT Update & COVID Q&A

COVID-19 Q&A

By: Larry Samuel, JFT General Counsel

JFT members have asked excellent questions about how the school district is supposed to handle certain situations involving COVID-19. This is the second of a series of articles responding to the questions. If you have additional questions, email: info@jft.org.

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January Newsletter

COVID-19 RELIEF FUNDING

Louisiana school districts are poised to receive nearly 4x more COVID-19 relief funding under the latest federal relief plan. This aid does come with restrictions in how districts may allocate the funds, but it is a much needed and long overdue step towards a reprieve for our educators and students who have been ‘making it work’ for far too long. We are excited about the possibilities this funding presents, but it is vital that teachers

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January Newsletter

COVID-19 RELIEF FUNDING

Louisiana school districts are poised to receive nearly 4x more COVID-19 relief funding under the latest federal relief plan. This aid does come with restrictions in how districts may allocate the funds, but it is a much needed and long overdue step towards a reprieve for our educators and students who have been ‘making it work’ for far too long. We are excited about the possibilities this funding presents, but it is vital that teachers

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January Update

“COVID 19” Days Update

JFT addressed the Jefferson Parish School Board at the December meeting, urging them to be proactive in extending The Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA), which expired on December 31, 2020. The FFCRA provided paid sick leave and expanded family and medical leave.  
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Dr. Gray Responds to Our Letter

The following is a letter written by Superintendent James Gray to JFT President Kesler Camese-Jones. He is writing in response to a letter sent by President Camese-Jones to Dr. Gray on December 18, 2020 ― you can read that letter here.

 
Dear Ms. Camese-Jones,
 
Thank you for reaching out to us with your recent letter
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