Tuesday, February 23, 2010

National certification stipend on the chopping block?

Governor Bobby Jindal now says that his upcoming budget will eliminate the $5,000 stipend for teachers who earn national certification, as well as for transporting private and religious school students.

Because the expenditures are mandated by law, local school boards will have to pick up the tab for millions of dollars worth of state obligations, according to this article by Advocate reporter Michelle Millhollon.

With state funding for schools expected to remain frozen this year, how on earth does the governor think school boards can afford his new mandate?

As LFT President Steve Monaghan says in this press release, the governor is merely "kicking the can down the road," expecting others to make decisions that properly belong in the executive office.

“If the state really cannot afford transportation for private school
students, then the governor should propose eliminating the private school
transportation stipend," Monaghan said. "However, national board certification
is an intense process that brings real value to children in Louisiana
classrooms, and we would hope that the governor would make its funding a

“The truth is that in the past few years, our governor and
legislature indulged in an orgy of tax cuts and rebates that left Louisiana
unable to address the needs of its citizens,” Monaghan said. “Now we are facing
the results of those bad choices, and the people of the state will suffer as a

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