Saturday, September 14, 2013

LAE Legislative Report Card

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One of my most important projects connected with this blog is to provide educators and citizens who volunteer as "Defenders of Public Education" with regular email notices of pending legislative and BESE actions so that our volunteers can communicate more effectively with their representatives at the legislature and to BESE members. If you have not yet signed up for my special email notices, I hope you will do so right away. All you have to do is send me an email at louisianaeducator@gmail.com and include your name, your preferred email address, your cell phone #(optional), and your home zip code. The reason I need your home zip code is so that I can place you in your correct legislative districts for both Senator and Representative. This is critical because sometimes we will target our messages to particular legislators.

The Latest Legislative Report Card From the LAE

The first thing you need to know if you intend to communicate more effectively with your legislators is their voting record in relation to education issues. One of the best assessments of voting records I have found is at the Louisiana Association of Educators website. If you just go to the LAE website, you can download a chart showing how all Louisiana legislators voted in the 2013 legislative session on key issues affecting public education and public educators. Just check to see how your State Senator and State Representative voted on those key issues.

Here is the press release that was issued last month by the LAE concerning their most recent legislative report card:

The LAE Fund for Children & Public Education Committee Releases Annual Legislator Report Card

Legislator Evaluation Mechanism Measures Lawmakers Based on Their Support for Public Schools
BATON ROUGE, LA – August 16, 2013 – The Louisiana Association of Educators’ political action committee, the LAE Fund for Children & Public Education (LAE-FCPE), released its 2013 Legislator Report Card Friday. The committee distributes the evaluation mechanism in order to share information surrounding lawmakers’ positions on legislation that reflects annual legislative priorities in education.
This report card is more than just a list of grades given to each legislator," explained LAE-FCPE Chair Debbie Meaux. “It offers an in-depth look at how each legislator voted on the issues that matter most to the public education community.”
The LAE’s legislative goals are identified at the beginning of each session and are approved by the Association’s membership at its annual convention. The LAE Lobby Team uses these priorities to evaluate legislators throughout the session. Legislators are given a “vote score” based on their voting record surrounding education legislation; the Lobby Team also scores each legislator on additional criteria including bill sponsorships, back-home access, education advocacy, behind-the-scenes advocacy, committee votes, legislative contact team ratings, and education champion points. Points earned or lost by a legislator on these criteria are combined with each lawmaker’s vote score in order to calculate a total score. A final annual score is calculated by taking a composite of the current and previous years’ scores.
The information gathered through the report card evaluation process is used to make judgments on LAE-FCPE campaign support, contributions, and candidate endorsements. Meaux said this tool serves as a one-stop source of information that helps association members make informed decisions during election season.
It is critical that our members stay up to speed on the decisions made by their elected officials during annual legislative sessions,” she said. “Compiling and distributing this important resource to our members helps us fulfill our commitment to being strong education advocates; not only for association members, but for every public school employee and student in Louisiana.”
To view and download the complete 2013 LAE-FCPE Legislator Report Card, please go to http://www.lae.org/.


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