Gov. Bobby Jindal declared Thursday, March 15 as “Retired Teachers Day” in Louisiana — a day to recognize the contributions teachers make. The irony likely wasn’t lost on currently employed public school teachers, more than 1,000 of whom descended on the Capitol to protest a package of bills many if not most Louisiana educators view as an assault on their livelihood — a package of bills that late Thursday afternoon cleared the Senate Education Committee on just the fourth day of an 85-day session. Companion bills on the House side passed that chamber’s Education Committee in the wee hours Thursday morning.

The bills would radically change the way teachers achieve tenure and widen eligibility for low-income students to attend private schools with public money. The vote in the Senate Education Committee was largely along party lines: All five Republicans and one Democrat, Opelousas’ Elbert Guillory, voted for the bills; Democrat Eric LaFleur of Ville Platte voted against.

Jindal’s education-reform legislation in each chamber of the Legislature now moves to the full House and Senate for debate and likely attempts to amend it.

Read more here.


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