Wednesday, May 4, 2016

More erosion of teacher rights approved by the House Education Committee

An amended version of HB 833 passed the House Education Committee today.  This is the suspension suppression bill by Leger which was pushed by student disability and anti-suspension advocacy groups. LABI, the big business lobby also supported this erosion of teacher and principal authority on discipline. The amended version is not quite as harsh in punishing schools that have above average numbers of student suspensions, but it will still require that a plan be implemented in such schools no matter the financial cost and no matter the negative impact on each teacher's dignity! I say that because these phony alternatives to discipline almost always tear down a teacher's authority in the classroom. There are teachers being disrespected and humiliated every day in public schools classrooms right now, even before these arbitrary limits on suspensions go into effect. The lack of support on discipline is the biggest single reason teachers leave the profession today!

Another slap in the face of teachers was the rejection of HB 1045 by the education committee also today. This bill would have prevented teachers being assigned extra hours or days of work without compension. Teachers had such a protection in state law before the adoption of Jindal's Act 1 of 2012 and both LAE and LFT had asked Rep. Miller to propose this legislative restoration of teacher rights. Act 1 of 2012 in my opinion is the single law that was the most drastic example of teacher hating I have ever seen in the legislature. You can go back to the archives of this blog to see the warnings I issued at that time. That's the bill that also took away most of a teacher's tenure rights, all seniority rights, and set up a defective merit pay system funded by robbing the funding from teacher step raises. Proponents of this law said that these changes would "empower" great teachers. If you are a great teacher do you feel empowered when your principal requires you to sell tickets at a football game on Friday night?

Act 1 of 2012 provided that teachers could be assigned an unlimited amount of duties, extra hours, and extra days of work as part of their annual contract and have no right to extra pay for the extra work. Some legislators today commented that they could not imagine any teacher being abused in this way, but they still refused to give teachers the protection of law. HB 1045 was defeated by a vote of 8 to 5 against the bill. I will get the official record of how each member of the Education Committee voted on this bill and HB 833 and publish it here tomorrow or Friday.

When are legislators going to be held accountable by teachers and their friends and relatives? Please read also this post in the Louisiana Voice about the continued disrespect of teachers by the legislature. I am guessing that many teachers did not know that Nancy Landry was their enemy even though this blog and the teacher unions published her record.

HB 833 will go to the House floor for approval some time next week. Please contact your State Representative and ask that he/she vote to defeat it on the floor.

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