In a rare move, the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education overruled a recommendation by one of its own committees to fund an expensive study of the Teachers’ Retirement System of Louisiana’s Unfunded Accrued Liability.
At its December meeting, the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education selected Shan Davis as the new executive director. Davis, who has worked for the Department of Education for the past five years, replaces Heather Cope, who left to work in the Camden, New Jersey public school system.
The board voted to retain its current set of officers: President Chas Roemer, Vice President James Garvey and Secretary Holly Boffy.
Majority of LEAs failing instructional requirement are charters
Of the 22 Local education Agencies that failed to meet state a requirement
Prompted by fears that the Ebola virus could invade Louisiana, the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education approved emergency rules giving superintendents the authority to close schools or send students home if threats appear.
The August meeting of the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education was contentious, with members clashing over the future of New Orleans’ John McDonogh High School, accountability for voucher schemes, the Recovery School District’s $213 million budget and more.
For the past few years, the debate about education has been a one-way conversation, with a lot of negative comments and misguided policies aimed at teachers and our schools. The voices of educators were largely ignored.
School buildings cannot open for in-person instruction until the below conditions are met:
- Community transmission of COVID-19 is under control in the region;
- There is a public health infrastructure to support effective disease surveillance, tracing and isolation in schools;
- Staff who are at high risk have access to special accommodations;
- The district and school have funded safeguards and implemented protocols, including physical distancing, face coverings, access to hand-washing facilities, cleaning supplies, and updates to ventilation and;
- AFT members and leaders, families and community partners are included in the reopening planning process.
LFT has conducted a comprehensive survey to evaluate the concerns of educators and community members with regards to schools reopening later this summer. LFT received responses from nearly 15,000 teachers, support staff, parents, students and concerned community members regarding the reopening of schools. The survey was conducted electronically between June 30-July 10, 2020 and distributed widely through various online platforms.
Until a vaccine is developed for COVID-19, each community is going to need support in charting a path to safely and responsibly reopen school buildings and other institutions crucial to the well-being and economic vitality of our communities.
The AFT’s detailed, science-based “Plan to Safely Reopen America’s Schools and Communities” features five core pillars based on the science as well as educator and healthcare expertise—not on politics or wishful thinking.