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LAE and Bobby Jindal at odds

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MONROE, La. (KNOE 8 News) - The Louisiana Association of Educators and Louisiana governor Bobby Jindal are at odds over Act 1, which is commonly referred to as the Teacher Tenure Law.

The teacher's union met yesterday to speak out against Act 1 after a judge ruled part of the law unconstitutional last week.  A Monroe City Schools teacher was facing termination under the law but filed suit to prevent the termination and appeal process to be enacted against her. 

A judge ruled in the teacher's favor.  

LAE organizers met with the media yesterday to urge the governor to reconsider the 2012 legislation and sit down with the organization to come to an agreement on what should be done next.

"It's time we take a step back and re-think these extreme policies," said LAE President Debbie Meaux. "Several courts have found constitutional issues with the law and more cases are popping up across the state. We're asking Governor Jindal and Superintendent White to seriously examine these issues and fix them."

Meaux says the leaders of the LAE continue to push for policies that will help improve the law, with proposals that address Act 1's issues surrounding teacher due process (HB 879 of the 2012 session and HB 625 of the 2013 session) and teacher evaluation and induction (LAE's TEAM model). 

Governor Jindal issued the following statement regarding the Louisiana Association of Educators' press conference on Act 1:

"We're always willing to work with stakeholders to improve education in Louisiana. We continue to work with teachers, superintendents, principals and school board members to make sure we have a great teacher in every classroom. Act I is overwhelmingly supported by the public and it is instrumental in improving education for our kids.

We believe the judgment from last week's case will be set aside because it was rendered without regard to the legal requirements for challenging the constitutionality of a law. The procedures contained in Act 1 fully comply with state and federal due process, which will be proven when the case is properly retried or, ultimately, on appeal. These reforms are constitutional and will continue improving Louisiana schools for children and families across our state."

The Department of Education and LAE are expected to meet today to discuss a compromise. They are meeting with John White to introduce the new president of the teacher's union.  No meeting with Gov. Jindal has been planned.

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