Legislative wrap up: Education - KPLC 7 News, Lake Charles, Louisiana

Legislative wrap up: Education

It was nothing like the fireworks of 2012, but one thing attempted education reform did do,  is engage teachers and their representatives more than ever to be part of the process.

The Calcasieu Federation of Teachers helped sponsor the League of Women Voters Legislative wrap up on Friday.

Local federation president, Teri Johnson, said they want lawmakers to know they are watching.

"I think this session public education fared much better than last. There were several bills that came out about salary schedules and linking the test scores of students to the teachers' pay and such as that and a lot of those got defeated because the legislators heard from the public," said Johnson.

House speaker Chuck Kleckley says a 2.75 percent increase in what's called the minimum foundation program will bring money back to the area.

"Half of the MFP, the $69 million, will go to teacher pay raises and the other half will go to school districts which I'm sure you guys are really  happy about," said Kleckley.

Also, Representative Mike Danahay  says he agrees with alternatives for students not likely go to a four year college.

"The vast majority of children coming out of high school do not go to a four year institution.  So we have done a disservice by not giving them some alternative here," said Danahay.

Another topic discussed is teacher pay. Though certified teachers will get a raise, Johnson says it's not much.

"In Calcasieu $560 a year," said Johnson.

Still, she's convinced, today's remarks by lawmakers validate that they are listening when it comes to education and public schools in Louisiana.

The Public Affairs Research Council has prepared a summary of the 2013 session. To read it click here.

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