BATON ROUGE, La., March 14, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Louisiana Federation for Children today condemned the actions of school board and teachers union leaders across the state, who have canceled classes and allowed teachers to take time off of work to protest proposed education reform legislation at the State Capitol this week.
At the urging of state unions and under the guise of a so-called "Professional Development Day," Vermillion and St. Martin parishes have granted teachers a day off from the classroom to travel to the State Capitol and rally against much-needed reform legislation that empowers parents and families. East Baton Rouge Parish schools have also canceled all of today's classes to allow their teachers to join in the protests.
"While it's extremely disheartening to see these children ignored, it's unfortunately not out of the ordinary for the unions to go out of their way to protect the status quo for adults and special interests instead of putting children first," said LFC's Lauren Perry. "The futures of thousands of children are at stake. We urge the Education Committees of both the House and Senate to look past the antics of the state's union leaders and vote to provide our children and families with quality educational options they not only want, but deserve."
Governor Jindal's proposed education reform package will be heard today and tomorrow during meetings of the House and Senate Education Committees, respectively. Included in the package are House Bill 976 and Senate Bill 597, which propose a statewide expansion of the current New Orleans voucher program as well as other parent choice-related components, including a "parent trigger" for failing schools, expanded pathways to create high-quality charter schools, and a per course provider program.
Other parts of the legislative package include initiatives that would enhance teacher quality and enhance accountability for school leaders.
The teachers union-led protests come at a time when children across the state can least afford to miss class. Students are in the midst of preparing for the statewide Louisiana Educational Assessment Program (LEAP) exams, which begin next week.
The Louisiana Federation for Children is a project of the American Federation for Children. For more information, visit www.Louisiana4Children.org.
SOURCE Louisiana Federation for Children