By now many of you have heard the news that Gov. Edwards’ recently released budget excluded an increase in teacher, educator, and support pay.
As educators, we know the value of keeping promises to those who depend on us, and we are extremely disappointed in the governor’s dismissal of Louisiana’s hard working educators. Gov. Edwards promised for years that we would reach the southern regional average, and he went back on his word during the very first year of his new term. Instead of giving hard working educators the funds that were promised, the governor’s office has passed the mandate to district leaders and claimed that teacher raises could come locally- but they did not give districts enough money to support raises.
Be confident that this proposal will not stop A+PEL from fighting for you! Last year, A+PEL’s own Dr. Keith Courville led a proposal to give educators a $3,000.00 raise during the MFP Task Force Meeting. The two Louisiana teacher unions, LFT and LAE, refused to support A+PEL’s fight to get teachers this money. Instead, those unions threw their support behind Governor Edwards’ reelection campaign and used the organization’s time and money to endorse, promote, and get the vote for a governor who betrayed teachers.
Instead of fighting for the governor’s re-election, they should have been fighting for their members, for all educators and support staff, and for school funding. Specifically, LAE has bragged that they supported Gov. Edwards’ re-election campaign by completing over 20,000 phone calls to voters, knocking on more than 12,000 doors to have one-on-one conversations with voters, and sending over 16,600 text messages to supporters of public education- including to their own members!
A+PEL is here to support you. We are led by teachers. We are politically independent and non-partisan. We will never tell you who to vote for. We will never text you or your family insisting you vote the way A+PEL wants you to. We are a diverse coalition of education professionals from across the state. We know you have a choice when it comes to your professional organization, and we thank those who have chosen to allow us to serve you. Time and time again, we and our brave teachers went to the capitol weekly last session to speak directly with legislators. With the direct efforts of our members, we were able to secure a raise.
But now it’s time to fight again. We don’t want to know why some unions betrayed their own members. We don’t want to know why the governor betrayed his own words. We aren’t interested in the excuses and lies. Excuses won’t put food on our tables. Excuses won’t put gas in our vehicles. Excuses won’t pay for daycare, student loans, or help fill our classrooms with much needed supplies.
If you read this and feel like we do, then join us in fighting for more!
You can sign up here to join us at the capitol this Spring.