Tuesday, November 17, 2009

LFT director sticks up for education professionals

Alison Ocmand, legislative director for the Louisiana Federation of Teachers, alerted lawmakers to a serious problem: the State Department of Education has neglected to pay nationally certified guidance counselors, psychologists and social workers the $5,000 annual supplement ordered by the legislature.

Legislators are not amused. The revelation caused a back-and-forth between State Sen. Jack Donohue and Deputy State Superintendent of Education Beth Scioneaux. Donohue said money was appropriated for the supplements and they should be paid; Scioneaux said the department was ordered to pay the supplements from "available discretionary funds," according to this article by Advocate reporter Michelle Millholon.

The upside is that educators will get the money they are due. The downside is that Council for a Better Louisiana President Barry Erwin apparently believes that, since these professionals aren't in a classroom, they don't have an impact on student achievement.

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