Teachers file lawsuit against Governor’s education reform bills
POSTED: Thursday, June 7, 2012 - 5:45pm
UPDATED: Thursday, June 7, 2012 - 5:49pm
BATON ROUGE, LA (NBC33) — Those opposed to the education reform plan proposed during the 2012 Legislative session are taking their fight to the steps of the state courthouse.
Today, Thursday, June 7, the Louisiana Federation of Teachers filed a lawsuit alleging that Acts 1 and 2 of this year's legislative session are unconstitutional. Those acts deal with the Governor's education reform plan. Now, the future of that plan is in the hands of the court.
"We're asking for the court to issue a preliminary injunction that will stop this process in its tracks," Larry Samuel, council for the Louisiana Federation of Teachers, explained.
For Crystal Nixon, a mother who is in support of the reform plan, the idea of the court ruling in favor of halting the legislation is devastating. That’s because the new legislation is the only way she’ll be able to send her son to a private school.
"It angers me because I want my son to have the same opportunity that other kids have but I don't have the means to give it to him," Nixon said.
The premise of the suit claims that the bills expanding the voucher program and cutting down on teacher tenure were unconstitutionally bundled when they felt more were needed.
"We cobbled together a hodge-podge of ideas, and then we steam rolled those ideas through, or they were steam rolled through the process," Steve Monaghan, LFT President, declared.
The group filing the suit also claims that a two-thirds majority vote was necessary, but not met in passing the legislation. Nixon notes that for her the battle isn't just about courts and injunctions it's about securing a brighter future for her son.
"This lawsuit is stopping my son from getting better education."
Governor Jindal issued a statement earlier today in response to the lawsuit.
"The coalition of the status quo have fought reform every step of the way, so it is no surprise they are making this last ditch efforts to convince the courts to overrule the vote of the people and the legislature,” Governor Jindal wrote in his statement.
A statement was also released from State Superintendent of Education John White.
"The LFT is preventing parents from doing what they think is best for their children,” the statement read. “It's time to return our focus to teaching and classrooms, but the LFT keeps dragging us back to politics and classrooms."
Those in favor of the latest education reform laws say they were expecting a challenge to the bills and are prepared to fight it.
We want to know what you think. Log on to the NBC33 Facebook page and tell us your thoughts. Are you in favor of the reform legislation or in favor of the lawsuit?