This fiscal session will be very important for teachers and support staff all across the state and at LFT we will be watching closely. Each week throughout the session we’ll send out updates to keep you informed about what’s going on. This session is only 9 weeks long and we have a lot of work to do in order to protect our rights and ensure teachers and support employees get a raise – we need all hands on deck!
Here is your source of information about the 2018 Legislative Session. See the LFT's goals for the session, catch up on our Weekly Legislative Digest, and check out the list of bills supported and opposed by the Federation.
In the final hours of the legislative session, the House chose not to take up SCR 2, the legislative instrument for the Minimum Foundation Program (MFP), the funding mechanism for K-12 education. This action ended any hopes of a permanent pay raise for educators this legislative session. Instead, the legislature chose to pay educators one-time stipends.
In an effort to appease educators, the body also included language in the preamble of the budget that asks future members of the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education (BESE) to include this year’s education funding in next year’s MFP. This will require future legislators and the future governor to do what this legislature would not: fund a permanent raise. Next year, Louisiana will have a new governor and many new legislators, so it is unclear whether or not they will honor the request to secure this year’s funding into next year’s MFP. If they do not, there will likely be little recourse for Louisiana’s educators and students.
The amount funded in the budget will give teachers a one-time stipend of $2,000 and support staff $1,000. Additionally, the budget contains $25 million for differential pay stipends for some teachers in “high needs areas,” as determined by local school boards. This stipend is also not guaranteed next year.
Tomorrow is the last day of the legislative session! Today, the House returned SCR 2, the legislative instrument for the MFP, "to the calendar" instead of voting to approve it. If the House does not pass the MFP (SCR 2) tomorrow, then teachers and support staff are not guaranteed a permanent pay increase.
If the House and Senate approve a final budget tomorrow that does include funding for teacher and school employee raises, but the MFP fails to pass, then the pay increases will only be guaranteed for one year. That’s not a guaranteed pay increase – it’s a one-time stipend. If the funding is not locked into the MFP, then there is no assurance it will be available next year.
This week the Senate approved raises for teachers and school employees! In the last week of the Session, it will all come down to the House.
On Monday, the Senate passed SCR 2, which is the legislative instrument for the MFP. After some back and forth with the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education (BESE) over the amount of the MFP proposal, the Senate ultimately decided to pass the MFP in its original form.
The MFP unanimously approved by the Senate this week includes a $2,000 raise for teachers and $1,000 for support staff, as well as differential payment stipends for certain teachers in certain circumstances. While this proposal is not the full $3,000/$1,500 raise proposed by the Governor, it is far better than the $0 allocated for teacher and school employee raises in the House’s budget passed earlier this year.
Now the MFP (SCR 2) will go to the House for approval.
In order for educators to receive a raise, the House must pass the MFP proposal AND the House and Senate must agree on a final budget that fully funds the MFP.
The Senate has passed an MFP with raises for teachers and school employees!
The Senate is also expected to pass a budget (HB 1) this week, that fully funds the MFP. In order for teachers and school employees to receive a raise, the MFP (SCR 2) must pass through the legislative process in the House and the Senate AND the legislature must fully fund the MFP in the final version of the budget (HB 1). Now it's up to the House.
The House has ONE WEEK to do the right thing and vote to pass the MFP with a $2,000 raise for teachers and $1,000 for support staff AND fund the raise in the budget.
Legislators on both sides of the aisle are now saying that we’ve reached a tentative agreement to give teachers a $2,000 raise and support staff $1,000 – but at this point nothing is final.
A lot can change in a matter of hours, so we must continue to put pressure on Senators to support pay raises for teachers and school employees.
This week, two major things happened with your raise, and two actions are needed to make sure you receive a raise.
#1: The Legislature has more money to spend in this year’s budget.
The Revenue Estimating Conference (REC) had their long anticipated meeting on Thursday. After hearing from the state’s economist, the REC adopted conservative revenue projections, recognizing $806 million in new general fund revenue.
#2: The Senate Education Committee rejected SCR 2.
On Thursday, the Senate Education Committee finally considered SCR 2, the legislative instrument for the Minimum Foundation Program (MFP), which is the K-12 funding formula. The MFP, along with the state budget (HB 1), is what will determine the teacher and school employee pay raise. They voted to reject the MFP proposal as it originally stands and send it back to BESE.
We need you to take TWO actions.
It’s Teacher Appreciation Week!
We are so grateful to all the teachers and school employees who show up for their students each day. Unfortunately, the Louisiana House of Representatives doesn't feel the same way.
Last week, they removed the pay raise for teachers and school employees from the state budget. Despite outcry from our state’s educators, they chose to prioritize pet projects and a marginal increase in debt repayment instead of giving a raise to our teachers and school employees. Now, the budget is in the Senate and they are debating what to do next.
The money is there, but so far, your legislators have refused to make teachers and school employees a priority. In order for you to receive a raise, the legislature must: