Friday, June 10, 2011

Coalition aims to be a voice for public education

A sustained attack on public education in Louisiana has brought together a new coalition of organizations that have not always seen eye-to-eye, but are united in their commitment to our schools.

It may seem like a jumble of initials, but when LFT, LAE, LSBA, LRTA, LASS and others are combined, it spells out a united front on crucial issues. The coalition means that unions, school boards, school administrators, retired teachers and assorted allies are working together at a critical time in our state’s history.

The coalition had a media coming-out party when WWL-TV in New Orleans dedicated air time to the issues that the coalition sees as starving all public schools while showering largesse on a select few private, religious and state-run Recovery District schools.

LFT President Steve Monaghan questioned the wisdom of dedicating millions of dollars to vouchers that benefit a relative few children in private and religious schools at the same time that the state is reducing funds for important pre-kindergarten programs around the state.

The coalition chairman, St. Tammany Parish School Board member Jack Loup, said that fairness is the issue. “We just want to make sure public education is on equal footing with the other programs that the state is pushing through,” he said.

Members of the coalition include the LFT, the Louisiana Association of School Superintendents, the Louisiana Association of Educators, the Louisiana School Boards Association, the Louisiana Association of School Executives, the Louisiana Association of Principals, the Louisiana Association of Chief Technology Officers, the Louisiana Retired Teachers Association, the National Board Certified Teachers of Louisiana, the Louisiana Association of Computer Using Educators, the Louisiana Association of Child Welfare and Attendance Personnel and the National School Board Association.

Click here to see the WWL-TV news report on the coalition effort.

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