The Jindal administration and the Louisiana Federation of Teachers, a union, got to take a second bite of 2012’s Act 1 when the state Supreme Court sent the issue of the law’s constitutionality back to district court for a re-hearing.
19th District Judge R. Michael Caldwell says the apple is still poisoned, ruling again that the measure, sometimes called the “teacher tenure law”, is unconstitutional.
The Teachers’ Retirement System of Louisiana reported earlier this month that the number of its members retiring from jobs in K-12 education jumped by more than 25 percent last year. The spike came after the legislature passed changes to the way teachers are evaluated, compensated and awarded tenure.
The retirement system’s figures include people retiring from food service, and other non-classroom jobs. And State Superintendent John White says the figures are misleading.
He says the number of teachers leaving the classroom for any reason – including promotion to administrative positions – has in fact remained steady at around 12 percent over the past three years.
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.
Last spring at the capitol, thousands of public school teachers rallied against the bill that would tie their pay and tenure to performance through an evaluation system, which was rolled out at the start of this school year.
A state judge says he will rule Tuesday on whether Act 1 was passed in violation of Louisiana’s constitution.