Thursday, February 17, 2011

Governor’s Plan to Freeze School Aid Is Wrong Approach to Filling State Budget Shortfalls

Louisiana educators are upset with Governor Jindal’s plan to recommend a third consecutive freeze in state aid for public schools.

“We think it’s time the governor dealt with state financing in a responsible way,” says Louisiana Association of Educators President Joyce Haynes. “The three year freeze will cost Louisiana’s public schools close to $200 million in recurring revenues.”

Teachers, parents and community members need Penny Dastugue and the Louisiana Board of Elementary and Secondary Education (BESE) to step up to the plate, too.

“The BESE board has one of two options. They can continue to be instruments of the governor or they can be representatives of the people,” says Haynes.

The BESE board has the authority to do what’s right for the public school students and the communities which depend upon their decision making. BESE, with a mixture of governor appointees and elected members, should have the courage to represent public schools and stand up to the governor.

“Public school students don’t have the luxury to wait on the governor,” says Haynes. “They need action and consideration now!”

This isn’t the first time Governor Jindal has slighted public school funding. In December of 2010, he made a $42 million error in the MFP when he failed to account for increases in student population.
He also shorted the state’s K-12 and higher education systems another $68 million when he redirected the Federal Education Jobs grant. To date, districts still have not received the $79 million residue from the $147 million originally approved for Louisiana K-12 public schools.

“Our state’s budget is hurting and we have a governor who continues to give billions of dollars in tax exemptions to big business; paying little attention to the needs of public school children. Enough is enough,” says Haynes.

Earlier this year, Louisiana House Speaker Jim Tucker implicated that legislators will consider suspending some of the $7 billion in tax exemptions as they search for ways to close the $1.6 billion budget hole. LAE is on board with the notion of requesting tax changes – anything to secure the funding of our valuable public services. LAE will ask the Legislature to go further and reduce exemptions by 3 billion dollars.

“We need to spend half of the money that the state could receive as a result of these exemptions and properly fund such governmental services as public schools, both Pre-K-12 and our public higher education institutions, social services and public safety,” says Haynes.

We look forward to Governor Jindal presenting his proposed operating budget during the 2011 regular legislative session. LAE intends to engage their membership and seek a broader coalition for their proposals.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

LAE Endorses Nathan Granger for State Senate District 26


We've endorsed Nathan Granger for the State Senate District 26 seat. The decision was made by a joint screening and recommendation committee who interviewed Granger and opponent Jonathan Perry. The committee recommended Granger for the seat and submitted the recommendation to the LAE Fund for Children and Public Education (FCPE) at the beginning of February.

“We are pleased that the LAE-FCPE approved our recommendation to endorse Nathan Granger,” explains Vermilion Association of Educators President Jason Roy. “We feel extremely confident in our decision to support Mr. Granger for the District 26 seat.”

The State Senate District 26 seat encompassing Acadia, Lafayette, St. Landry and Vermilion parishes was recently vacated by Nick Gautreaux. Local educators from the parishes within District 26 gathered to interview and recommend candidates. Each candidate answered questions from the committee on various topics including school funding, teacher accountability, educator due process rights and retirement.

“Both candidates interviewed well, but the committee ultimately made the decision to recommend Mr. Granger to the LAE-FCPE because we believe he best understands our issues as public educators,” says Roy. “He shows the most support for public education in our area and state.”

Early voting begins on February 5th and ends on February 12th. Election Day for Senate District 26 is Saturday, February 19, 2011.

Thursday, February 10, 2011


New Orleans Saints Wide Reciever Devery Henderson joins the LAE family for Read Across America 2010!

 Share your love of reading with kids across Louisiana on Saturday, February 26th, 2011! Mark your calendars and don't forget to join us for Read Across Louisiana 2011.
Read Across Louisiana is the state affiliate project of the National Education Association’s Read Across America, an annual reading motivation and awareness program that calls for every child, in every community to celebrate reading on March 2nd (the birthday of beloved children's author Dr. Seuss). The annual initiative provides parents, caregivers and children with the resources they need to keep reading on the calendar 365 days a year. In order to gear up for Read Across America Day on March 2nd, we’ll be hosting celebrations across Louisiana on Saturday, February 26th.

Our Baton Rouge area celebration kicks off at 10 AM at the Mall of Louisiana. Join LAE and LPB for a fun-filled day of reading, educational activities and giveaways. You’ll even have the chance to read alongside some of Baton Rouge’s biggest superstars including WBRZ-TV Meteorologist Dave Nussbaum, EATEL Community Connection host Jenny Heroman, Mayor-President Kip Holden and many more. Also be sure to look into other celebrations happening across the state on 2/26:

Alexandria: Alexandria Mall - 3437 Masonic Drive, Alexandria, LA
Bossier City: The Louisiana Boardwalk - 540 Boardwalk, Bossier City, LA
Lake Charles: Prien Lake Mall - 496 West Prien Lake Road, Lake Charles, LA
Lafayette: Mall of Acadiana - 5725 Johnston Street, Lafayette, LA
Monroe: Pecanland Mall - 4700 Milhaven Road #200 - Monroe, LA

Dont' forget to come out to celebrate the wonderful worlds that reading opens up for the children of Louisiana! And remember…

“You're never too old, too wacky, too wild, to pick up a book and read with a child!”

Visit for more information!