Judge rules Jindal's revamp of teacher tenure law unconstitutional

(Source: MGN Online)
(Source: MGN Online)

Baton Rouge, LA (AP) - A Baton Rouge judge has again declared Gov. Bobby Jindal's revamp of teacher tenure and salary laws unconstitutional.

State District Judge Michael Caldwell issues his new ruling Wednesday.

Caldwell ruled in March that the legislation was unconstitutional because it bundled together too many items spanning Louisiana's education laws. But the Louisiana Supreme Court vacated Caldwell's decision in May and asked him to re-evaluate his ruling.

Caldwell heard arguments in December, and came to same conclusion.

The Supreme Court said its opinion in a separate education case involving Jindal's statewide voucher program contains new case law for Caldwell to review. In that case, the high court rejected a similar argument that the voucher bill contained too many objectives.

The Louisiana Federation of Teachers filed the lawsuit challenging the 2012 legislation.

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The State of Louisiana Office of the Governor issued the following statement regarding the ruling:

"We believe it is Constitutional, and we are going to appeal to the Supreme Court. This was the same decision the judge made last time, and we appealed it. The Supreme Court sent it back and asked him to reconsider. He issued the same decision. We will appeal to the Supreme Court again. The law will continue to be in effect," said Gov. Jindal.

"These reforms are constitutional and will help improve Louisiana schools for children and families across the state. The law rewards effective teachers for their hard work and ensures that we have a great teacher in the classroom so that our children have the opportunity succeed."

State Superintendent of Education John White also issued the below statement regarding the ruling:

"Act 1 empowers educators to make decisions not based on politics but based on merit. Last year the Supreme Court advised Judge Caldwell to reconsider his original determination that the law's format is unconstitutional. As he arrived at the same conclusion as before, we will again appeal to the Supreme Court. We must allow educators to make decisions based on merit over politics."