Tenure Changes Upheld in Split Decision

Dec 18, 2012

Louisiana Federation of Teachers president Steve Monaghan (far left) speaking with reporters outside the state courthouse in Baton Rouge, Dec. 18, 2012.
Credit Amy Jeffries / WRKF

A state judge has upheld legislation tying teachers’ pay and tenure to their performance in the classroom. Gov. Bobby Jindal pushed for the changes as part of his education overhaul.

Judge Michael Caldwell tossed out provisions of the same act that removed authority over hiring and firing decisions from local school boards, and required state reviews of district superintendent contracts.

Caldwell said those provisions didn’t fit within the stated objective of Act 1.

The Louisiana Federation of Teachers had challenged the act, claiming lawmakers packed more into the single piece of legislation than the state constitution allows in order to railroad it all through.

LFT president Steve Monaghan said the union will appeal Tuesday's ruling. Meantime, he said it creates an opportunity for new discussion in the legislature about the role of local school boards and administrators addressed in the parts of the law the judge deemed unconstitutional.

“This opens the door, not for the governor to pump his fist, or for us to pump ours, but to say, we’ve got a problem with this legislation, now let’s get back in and do it right. Fix it," Monaghan said outside the courthouse in Baton Rouge.

Jindal quickly heralded the ruling Tuesday afternoon saying the, "core purpose of the law," has been upheld and calling it a, “victory for teachers and students."