On June 4, the 2012 Regular Legislative Session ended as it had begun – in a “chaotic legislative debate.”
Governor Jindal may boast of victory for steamrolling a package of dubious education “reforms” through the legislature, but many now are asking: What was won, and at what cost?
The session left in its wake a sour taste for an orchestrated process and a legacy of lawsuits. The LFT, as promised, filed lawsuits challenging the constitutionality of both Acts 1 and 2 on June 7. Later, the LAE and the Louisiana School Board Association also filed lawsuits challenging Act 2. All three challenges to Act 2 have been consolidated under the LFT lawsuit.
We understand that elections have consequences. The power to govern rightfully belongs to those who are elected. However, we also believe that campaigns should not be perpetual. When a campaign ends, the responsibility to govern begins. Unfortunately, ideology has trumped policy. Louisiana suffers, our communities suffer, our schools suffer, our teachers suffer, and our children suffer because the campaign season did not end in November, 2011.
Choices were made to vilify teachers. Choices were made to frame public schools as failures. Choices were made to blame the unions, the school boards, and/or anyone who dared question the governor’s agenda.