Grassroots group pushes for education reforms

Grassroots group pushes for education reforms

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Feb. 27, 2014 6:50 PM
Written by Amanda McElfresh

 A grassroots group of parents, teachers and stakeholders is pushing Louisiana legislators to address several education-related issues during the upcoming regular session.

Three legislators who attended a Thursday breakfast hosted by Power of Public Education Lafayette made no promises when it comes to enacting laws, but vowed to continue to listen to constituents. Lawmakers also urged PPEL members to head to Baton Rouge this spring to make their positions known to the full legislature.

The group is suggesting laws that charter schools approved by the state be completely funded by the state. Those schools also should undergo performance audits, with their renewals directly tied to those results, the group said. They are also seeking to enact legislation to prevent the state from approving charter applications denied by local districts.

Read more at the Advertiser online story

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Lafayette group seeks changes in new education policies

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Advocates push for legislation to give taxpayers more control

BY MARSHA SILLS
msills@theadvocate.com
February 27, 2014

LAFAYETTE — A Lafayette Parish education advocacy group pushed Thursday for legislation that would give local taxpayers control over whether new charter schools can open in a parish and for tweaks to education matters approved by the Legislature in 2012.
The advocacy group Power of Public Education Lafayette held the legislative breakfast to outline specific legislative issues the group hopes to find support for in the session that begins March 10.

The breakfast, opened to the public, was attended by about 60 people and three legislators: Reps. Terry Landry, D-New Iberia; Vincent Pierre, D-Lafayette; and Joel Robideaux, R-Lafayette.

The group requested legislation that addresses issues with the Common Core State Standards, changes to the state’s school accountability or letter grade system, tougher charter school oversight and local control of charter school application approvals, and changes to teacher evaluations in order to improve teacher retention…

For more see the full Advocate online story.

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ALEC’s extensive plans for education restructuring in your state

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Mercedes Schneider has the story about how legislation promoting charter schools and boosted by ALEC is coming to your statehouse. The American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) (established 1973) offers corporate America the opportunity to shape legislation that serves its profit-garnering interests and to do so in statehouses around the country. To accomplish this controlling of the legislative process, ALEC provides forums (conferences that double as posh vacations for legislators and their families) in which both

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Parents form public schools advocacy group

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LAFAYETTE — Two Lafayette Parish public-school parents, who fought last year against for-profit charter operators opening schools here, have organized a new watchdog group called Power of Public Education Lafayette. Parents Kathleen Espinoza and Ann Burruss organized the watchdog group Swamp BESE last year in protest of two charter groups’ applications to the Louisiana Board of Elementary and Secondary Education to open charter schools in Lafayette Parish. After the Lafayette Parish School Board rejected the applications, the groups

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Forums to explore law debated by Cooper, board

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LAFAYETTE — A law enacted in July 2012 that has been the crux of much debate between the Lafayette Parish School Board and School Superintendent Pat Cooper will be the topic of two upcoming forums. Cooper has scheduled a Jan. 11 workshop for school employees on the law, known as Act 1, to explore how it changes board governance and staff management. The League of Women Voters of Lafayette will hold its public forum on the law on Jan.

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Forum members say law is complicated

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LAFAYETTE — The upcoming legislative session could be a chance for lawmakers to clear up confusion created by a 2012 law that has confounded school districts as it bounces through legal challenges, said educators who discussed the law, known as Act 1, during a forum Tuesday in Lafayette. Act 1 changed several aspects of education law related to teacher pay, evaluation and tenure, superintendent contracts and transferred final approval of hiring and firing decisions from school

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