Teacher tenure bill ruled unconstitutional

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Monday, March 4, 2013 - 5:57pm

A Baton Rouge judge ruled the Act One or the "teacher tenure" bill is against the unconstitutional. 19th Judicial District Court Judge Michael Caldwell says the bill has too many topics wrapped up in it. The state constitution requires only one topic per bill. Teachers say the judge is right.

"If you have the right argument and the facts are on your side. Then their is a place where justice can be done. that can be a fair review," Steve Monaghan, Louisiana Federation of Teachers president, explained.

Monaghan is relieved by the judge's decision: "We sued reluctantly but if you don't respect the constitution the only place we have to go for remedy is the court room. "

Act one changed up teachers rights. It included changes to how they're paid, how they get tenure, and much more. Monaghan said so much stuff was crammed in the bill teachers didn't have time to discuss it all.

"They had very very short opportunity to engage their legislatures and discuss look this is why this isn't going to work. This is why this is a problem here," Monaghan said.

Despite opposition from Louisiana teachers and their unions lawmakers passed Act One.

'What the state was basically saying is unless you're in the hall of fame you have no right to fair review before we take your job away from you," Monaghan explained.

Governor Bobby Jindal argues the law helps make sure only the best teachers stay in the classroom. Under the law, only teacher who are considered highly effective for five out of six years would get tenure.

Before act one passed a teacher only needed three years in the classroom to get tenure. and tenured teachers could not be fired without a review.

If the Judges decision does not get overturned teachers would return to operating under the three year to tenure policy.

Governor Bobby Jindal said today the law is legal, and he's confident the state will 'win' in an appeal with the state supreme court.

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