Thursday, April 16, 2009

Mourn for public education on Black Monday, April 27!

Join thousands of educators, students and friends of our schools, colleges and universities in mourning for public education on the first day of the legislative session.

Wear something black to school or work on Monday, April 27.

Please click here and download a Black Monday flyer to share with friends and colleagues.

Please click here to visit the college students' SOS blog.

In an almost unprecedented display of solidarity, the state's most influential education organizations are joining with students around Louisiana to protest planned cuts to public education.

The Louisiana Association of Educators, Louisiana Federation of Teachers and Louisiana School Boards Association have jointly announced their cooperation for the event. The student coalition Save Our Schools is bringing students from Louisiana's universities, colleges, trade and technical schools into the event.

What's the reason for the outrage among educators and students?

This year, Gov. Jindal’s budget will cut nearly $200 million from elementary and secondary education, and $219 million from our colleges, universities trade and technical schools. These cuts show a clear bias against public education.

The governor wants to spend more money on vouchers for religious schools, more money for consultants and contractors, and more money for a new accountability system. But his proposed cuts to public education are disastrous.

His $219 million cut to higher education will slash important programs in every college, university, community college and technical school in the state. The permanent damage these cuts will cause to the economic development of the state is incalculable.

The governor also plans deep cuts that will affect teachers, school employees and the students we serve in elementary and secondary schools. Money for professional development, instructional programs and some salary supplements will disappear.

On top of that, the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education adopted a Minimum Foundation Program that, for the first time, does not include a 2.75% growth factor. Pay raises and programs that depend on growth in the MFP will suffer.

Mourning for our schools on Black Monday will send lawmakers and the governor a message. Public education, from kindergarten through college, is important to Louisiana's future.

Education is economic development. Cutting school funds will cause permanent damage to our state.

Please wear something black to school or work on Monday, April 27 and mourn for our schools!

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