This week we conclude the second week in the ongoing Special Legislative Session, bringing us to nearly the half way point. Due to the oncoming Hurricane Delta, some meetings were moved up until earlier in the week, most notably both the House Education and Senate Education Committees conducted their weekly meetings at the same time on Wednesday morning. They both considered important legislation, but here are some of the highlights:
One of the most important bills that we will hear in this abbreviated legislation is Senate Bill 31 by Senator Cleo Fields. If passed, this bill would prohibit the use of statewide student assessments conducted during the 2020-2021 school year from being used to evaluate teacher performance. Essentially, schools could (and likely would) still have testing this year, but the scores couldn't count against a teacher's performance evaluation.
In her September New York Times column, AFT President Randi Weingarten says that going back to school has never looked like it does now. Weingarten explains that because of President Donald Trump’s response to the coronavirus, which has been chaotic, contradictory and inept, and the lack of federal guidance and funding, we’re seeing a patchwork of school reopening plans across the country.
Louisiana Federation of Teachers has compiled the following resources to help inform members of their rights as schools begin to reopen in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic:
On Tuesday at 5:00 P.M. the St. Martin School Board will hold a Special Board Meeting to consider the Superintendent's Reopening Plan. As teachers and support staff who work in these schools everyday, we want to see schools reopen as soon as possible, but we have serious concerns about the districts' ability to keep staff and students safe.
It's important for the Board to hear from educators like you before they make these life-or-death decisions.