Teachers rally in Sulphur against education reform proposals

Teachers rally in Sulphur against education reform proposals

SULPHUR, LA (KPLC) - As Governor Bobby Jindal's education reform package makes its way through the legislature, Calcasieu teachers are on the defensive.

"When someone's trying to bully me, there's safety in numbers. And I kind of feel like some is trying to bully me," said teacher Trevor Dean.

Lobbying to keep their livelihoods teachers met Monday evening at Sulphur High School. Though it wasn't packed by any means, those in attendance were very emotional.

"This is the biggest education bill that we have ever had. It is directed towards public education. It is taking funds from the public education system and putting it into private schools," said Jean Johnson LA Federation of Teachers Calcasieu Chapter President.

"If anyone believes that our children or our teachers should be judged by one standardized test - we have a problem Houston," said Joyce Haynes, LA Association of Educators President.

Students were also on hand to show support for the public school system.

"As a junior it won't be affected by the bill if it is passed. But I have younger siblings who will be affected by it. So they really do need to rally for their jobs because I have a great public education and I feel that they should have the same," said Kerri Racca, Sulphur High School Junior.

"I'm a senior. I've gone through 13 years of public education and in my opinion I turned out just fine. I'm moving on to LSU in the fall," said Taylor Trahan, Sulphur High School Senior.

The teachers vowed to march the steps of the State Capitol. Teachers want lawmakers to think before casting their vote.

"Listen to educators who know what it's like to be in a classroom. And I would welcome any of the legislators to come in my class for a week or a day, do lesson plans and work with the kids. They need to know what teachers are battling. It isn't just meeting test scores," said Terri Simpson, Maplewood Middle School teacher.

"We would like lawmakers to know in the upcoming four years that they will be held accountable for their votes they do on this package right now," said Mark Hayes, Calcasieu Association of Educators President.

The teachers plan to rally at the Capitol March 27th. The Calcasieu Chapter of the Louisiana Federation of Teachers said if the package does pass they're prepared to file suit because they said it is unconstitutional.

Meanwhile Westlake teachers are set to hold their own rally Tuesday at 3:30 p.m. outside Westwood Elementary on Sampson Street.

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