Monday, March 26, 2012
Wednesday, March 21, 2012
"THE WHITE SLIP PROTEST"
inspired by Sharyn Hebert's Red Card Initiative
Since many of us are unable to be at the Capitol this week due to LEAP testing, here's your chance to show your visual PROTEST for House Bills 974 & 976! You may have heard of the Red Card Initiative created by Sharyn Hebert. We thought the idea was so fantastic that we decided to expand upon the concept.
Now that the debate is headed to the house floor, white slips are used to write notes to representatives to voice opinions about debated legislation. We've downloaded those white slips for you to fill out and return to us so we can show representatives just how many individuals are in opposition to these bills. Follow the instructions provided below:
Step 1: Click here to download the PDF of the House Message Slip.
Step 2: Click the following link to compile contact information on your representative: http://legis.la.gov/district/zipcode.asp
Step 3: Click here to view the attached House of Representatives Seating chart and place the seat number of your representative in the blank provided at the top right hand corner of the House Message Slip.
Step 4: Fill out the highlighted fields on the PDF form, including your representative, your name and a personal message. *Please note all of the information entered with the exception of any personal messages, will duplicate on both forms.
Step 5: When you are finished, click Submit (top right hand corner of screen) to return your data. You can also save the PDF on your desktop and attach it to an email, send this email to email@example.com.
It's important that we get this done and get this done FAST! Please begin filling these cards out and sending them in!
Wednesday, March 14, 2012
Thousands of education stakeholders flooded the steps of the Louisiana State Capitol Wednesday, but a majority of the teachers, support professionals, administrators – even parents and students – who showed up, were forced to remain outside on the Capitol steps due to the governor’s orders of closing down alternative entrances into the building.
“They wouldn’t let people in because they said the committee rooms were full, but it looked like Governor Jindal was trying to keep educators out of the room during his testimony,” said LAE President Joyce Haynes. “If he really believed in his plan, then he should have taken this opportunity to stand before educators and put it all out on the table; instead, he chose to lock us out of the process.”
School employees from across the state came together in Baton Rouge to speak against the governor’s extreme education agenda brought forth in House Bill 976. The bill calls for taking public tax dollars and turning them over to for-profit charter schools. It also calls for the expansion of a statewide school choice program. Educators want to know why the governor is demanding a rush to vote on such complex legislation that impacts the future of Louisiana’s public schools.
“It is the Legislature’s responsibility to schedule a fair hearing process that allows us to offer input on those bills that affect us,” said Haynes.
U.S. Senator Mary Landrieu sided with school employees as she spoke out against the rush. She agrees that the governor is moving outrageously fast to try to win committee approval for his plan.
"If this is such a great reform package, it should be able to stand the test of review. This is a democracy. This isn't a dictatorship," Landrieu said in an interview.
Educators could not agree more. Several school systems across the state closed so that educators could attend the hearings and advocate on behalf of their school districts. Attendees said they would rather be in the classrooms with their students, but when the intent is to attack hard working professionals by proposing to dismantle neighborhood schools through privatization, teachers will stand up to defend their students and their careers.
“We were forced to attend on a school day,” said Haynes. “Legislators should have made the appropriate move to schedule these hearings when education employees are available to attend, like in the evenings or on the weekends.”
The decision to close schools was made by school boards and administrators, many of whom joined teachers and support professionals at the Capitol in opposition to the legislation.