Budget crisis: Massive layoffs predictedLittle over week ago, the Baton Rouge Advocate published a report about how school systems can go about firing teachers because the state is facing yet another budget crisis - a $2 billion shortfall is looming for the coming fiscal year.
Instead of asking how many teachers we need to give our children an adequate education, leaders are talking about firing teachers. Instead of asking what we need to do to attract and keep the best educators in our classrooms, lawmakers are wondering how they can "do more with less." Instead of asking how much it costs to educate our children, and then doing everything possible to make sure that much money goes into our schools, politicians want to cut the budget.
Then last Thursday, the state's newspaper of record printed this frightening headline: "LSU predicts massive layoff, loss of students if budget cut."
Reporter Jordan Blum wrote that the flagship university will lose about 700 employees and close to 8,000 students if LSU is forced to trim its budget by another $62 million.
That number wasn't just drawn from a hat. The Jindal administration is requiring the university to write a budget plan that includes the cut. All told, the state is asking Louisiana's colleges and universities to write budget estimates with cuts amounting to $437 million next year.
And that's on top of the $270 million cut from higher education by the legislature and the Jindal administration over the past two years.
As Thursday's Advocate report notes, the cuts are seriously eroding higher education in our state. LSU is planning to shutter the School of Library Information and Science, and eliminate degree programs in German and Latin. Are these really steps that should be considered by a major university?
Federation endorsements for October 2 electionEven though local school board elections dominate the October 2 vote, there are other choices that voters statewide will be asked to make. Here are the LFT's endorsements in these races:
Lieutenant governor: Senator Butch Gautreaux
Move convening date of the State Legislature. To move the convening of the legislature in annual regular session in even numbered years to the second Monday in March and in odd numbered years to the second Monday in April and to change the effective date of legislation enacted at such sessions to August first. LFT SUPPORTS this proposed amendment.
Employees of Governor's Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness. To provide that the director, deputy director and all employees of the Governor's Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness shall be in the unclassified service of the state civil service. LFT OPPOSES this proposed amendment.
Lawyer claims union "hates" its members
In a desperate effort to overturn a decision against a recruiting company charged with victimizing Filipino teachers hired to work in Louisiana schools, attorney Murphy J. Foster went on the offensive Monday against the unions representing the foreign teachers.