Two weeks down: seven to go!
This week, LFT President Larry Carter testified before the House Appropriations Committee about the importance of passing a significant raise during this session.
His remarks focused on the experiences of Louisiana’s teachers and school employees. Our latest survey results revealed ninety-seven percent of teachers and ninety-eight percent of staff felt that they did not make enough to raise a family. Ninety-one percent of teachers said that the statewide pay raises they received in recent years were less than increases in cost of living and almost eighty percent said they’ve been completely absorbed by the rise in insurance premiums. Eighty-four percent of teachers and two-thirds of staff said they have considered leaving their current position. Thirty-seven percent of teachers and staff are working at least one other job.
We have been working with our state partners to examine the Livingston Parish Schools operating budget to get an initial sense of our financial stability as a district. We are pleased to report that we believe we have identified enough surplus non-restricted funding to provide teachers and support staff with a modest stipend. While not a raise, we believe that this is the least that the Board can do to begin the process of rebuilding goodwill towards the school staff, and the community as a whole.
Please join us in asking the School Board to give employees a stipend and include an LFT teacher on the Cost Savings Task Force. Here is what you need to do:
Teachers and school employees have to speak out for their students. Often, you are their only voice. In this week’s survey we are asking teachers and school employees to tell us about their student’s learning environment. Are your students getting the individualized attention they deserve? Are the standardized tests helping them succeed? Do they have access to safe buildings and the latest technology?
We want to hear from you! You are with your students in school everyday. You know what they need. Help us explain to policy makers what they're missing about student learning.
Are you getting the professional treatment you deserve? Too often, teachers and school employees feel disrespected in their jobs. They're treated like babysitters or expected to sit through numerous meetings where they are lectured on things they’ve already studied extensively, often by people who haven’t worked in a classroom in decades.
Sometimes educators feel respected by their principal and local administration, but disrespected by the school board or politicians in Baton Rouge. Sometimes the respect is missing at all levels. Tell us about your experience.
I want to thank everyone who came out to the School Board meeting last night. A special thanks to those of you who spoke before the board; it can be intimidating to speak truth to power, so thank you for stepping up. To those who packed the room and the parking lot and waved signs on the street, each of you helped to amplify the voices of those who did speak before the Board. They know that we are stronger together and now we are finally beginning to speak with a unified voice! I’m excited to see so many Livingston teachers and school employees coming together.
I know you are heartbroken, disappointed, and feel let down. I feel the same way. Coming out of this loss we need to make sure that the actions we take now are strategic and cohesive. This afternoon I met with a core team of teachers who are eager to take collective action in the wake of this weekend’s election. We are continuing to work on a strategy to rebuild from this loss in a way that is constructive and collaborative.
The Livingston School Board will discuss "Teachers concerns and opinions after failure of proposed Tax" at their meeting on Thursday. I
Livingston teachers and school employees are overdue for a raise. This weekend, voters had the opportunity to pass a one-cent sales tax that would result in a 10% raise for LPSB employees. Despite widespread support from employees in the district, the measure failed by 1,374 votes. Out of a total of 86,400 registered voters in Livingston Parish, only about 20% cast a vote.
While the ballot measure failed, the underlying issues remain. Livingston parish teachers and school employees are paid less than those in neighboring parishes. Our best educators are being recruited by those neighboring
Teachers' working conditions are students' learning conditions. When teachers and staff are under-resourced, over-worked and over-stressed, it impacts their students. Policymakers have an obligation to support teachers and school support staff because they are the ones who ensure our children get a quality education. Too often, the working conditions of teachers and support staff are not conducive to learning.
Do you get the time you need to prepare for class and tend to your own needs? Are you getting the professional autonomy you deserve? Does the PD at your school help you become a better educator?
We want to hear from you! Tell us about the working conditions in your school. Your responses on this survey are anonymous and will inform our legislative agenda, policy positions, and political endorsements.
On Saturday, March 25th Livingston Parish voters will have the opportunity to pass a one-cent sales tax that will fund a 10% pay raise for Livingston Parish School Board employees. This would be the first sales tax dedicated to raises in Livingston since 1987.
Polls open Saturday morning at 7:00 a.m. and close at 8:00 p.m.
If you are unsure of your polling location, or you want to find more information about the questions on your ballot, please visit the Voter Portal or geauxvote.com.
Today is the first day of Early Voting!
Livingston voters will have the chance to pass a one-cent sales tax that will fund a 10% pay raise for Livingston Parish School Board employees. This would be the first sales tax dedicated to raises in Livingston since 1987.
The following locations serve as early voting locations in Livingston Parish:
Denham Springs-Walker Branch
8101 US Hwy. 190
Denham Springs, LA 70706
Livingston Registrar of Voters
20400 Government Boulevard
Livingston, LA 70754
Early voting polls are open from 8:30 a.m. - 6:00 p.m.