AFT President Randi Weingarten’s latest column outlines the urgency of using our voices—our votes—in this life-changing election, when we will make a choice “between President Donald Trump, who has trafficked in chaos, fear, lies and division, and former Vice President Joe Biden, who seeks to reverse Trump’s failures on COVID-19 and the economy, and to unite and uplift the American people.” Besides the four crises we face—a pandemic, an economic crisis, racism and a climate emergency—democracy itself is on the ballot, as Trump continues to cast doubt on the legitimacy of the election.
This week we conclude the second week in the ongoing Special Legislative Session, bringing us to nearly the half way point. Due to the oncoming Hurricane Delta, some meetings were moved up until earlier in the week, most notably both the House Education and Senate Education Committees conducted their weekly meetings at the same time on Wednesday morning. They both considered important legislation, but here are some of the highlights:
One of the most important bills that we will hear in this abbreviated legislation is Senate Bill 31 by Senator Cleo Fields. If passed, this bill would prohibit the use of statewide student assessments conducted during the 2020-2021 school year from being used to evaluate teacher performance. Essentially, schools could (and likely would) still have testing this year, but the scores couldn't count against a teacher's performance evaluation.
In her September New York Times column, AFT President Randi Weingarten says that going back to school has never looked like it does now. Weingarten explains that because of President Donald Trump’s response to the coronavirus, which has been chaotic, contradictory and inept, and the lack of federal guidance and funding, we’re seeing a patchwork of school reopening plans across the country.
Louisiana Federation of Teachers has compiled the following resources to help inform members of their rights as schools begin to reopen in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic: