Gov. Jindal Blames ‘The Coalition Of The Status Quo’ After His Teacher Tenure And Evaluation Reforms Are Ruled Unconstitutional
Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal's office say they are "disappointed" and plan to appeal Monday's ruling by Judge Michael Caldwell, a reversal of his original ruling on Act 1, a law that deals with teacher tenure and evaluation and makes it harder for teachers to achieve tenure, which gives them greater job security. Jindal says:
Despite the fact that the people of Louisiana voted for reform, the coalition of the status quo is attempting to use every legal obstruction to block reforms that reward good teachers and give more choices to families.
Judge Caldwell says the legislation passed last year had too many different items crammed into one law, something Louisiana Federation of Teachers president Steve Monaghan had in mind when they filed suit against the reforms, questioning their constitutionality:
We submitted, we believe, strong arguments that indicated that there were at least 6 to 7 or even more laws that were being affected directly and not related ones within that measure. The process was short-circuited and the attempt was to pass multiple measures very, very quickly through the Legislature without a proper review of each one.
So why were there multiple measures passed all in one bill? House Education Chairman Steve Carter of Baton Rouge, who sponsored the bill, explains they felt "it would be the easiest way to do it because we were trying to accomplish so much for the state." Jindal says he's not surprised at the resistance the reforms got:
When we embarked on this path of reform, we knew this would not be an easy fight because the coalition of the status quo is entrenched and has worked to hold Louisiana teachers and students back for decades.
Carter believes the law was designed to improve public education, citing "an awful lot of dollars...$3.4 billion each year" being spent on education:
We've got to find some way to try to solve the problem.
Jindal says they "won't stop fighting for families and teachers," even expressing optimism, saying they "expect to prevail in the state Supreme Court." In his press release, he closed by saying:
We know that the families and teachers of our state deserve better. On behalf of the people of Louisiana that voted for reform, the good teachers who are working hard every day but are being held back by the status quo, and the parents and kids who deserve a choice – we will continue fighting and we are confident that we will prevail.