Governor John Bel Edwards released his legislative agenda aimed at improving the well-being of children and seniors. One of the bills included is West Monroe Representative Frank Hoffman’s proposal to reduce the requirements necessary for public school teachers to obtain tenure. Hoffman says the current requirements are unfair to educators.

“We made it so difficult to become tenured, and it still won’t be a piece of cake. If we’re going to have tenure, it should at least be a fair thing for the teachers.

Currently, teachers must be rated “highly efficient” for five of six years to qualify. The bill would lower the requirement to “effective: proficient”.

Hoffman says only 20 percent of teachers in a given year qualify for “highly efficient” status. He says his bill makes the requirements for tenure more reasonable.

“It’s still challenging, because effective proficient means you are in the top half, which means half of the teachers didn’t score as high as you did.”

The tenure requirements were put into place in 2012.

West Virginia teachers recently won a strike for higher pay and benefits, and reports showed Louisiana teachers are paid about 2,000 dollars less per year than the regional average. Hoffman says this is the kind of legislation that will make sure Louisiana can attract and retain quality instructors.

“We have less people going into teaching now, and we need good teachers to teach our kids, and we need good teachers to remain in the classroom.”

Hoffman is also proposing a bill that would alter the way the teacher evaluation system is weighted.