Teachers showed up at the capitol today, dressed in black. They hoped to send a message to lawmakers that cutting education would be a bad move. Emily Turner has more on the “Black Monday” rally.
Hundreds of protesters flooded the steps hoping to send a loud message to lawmakers that $400 million in proposed cuts to public schools could be the death of education in Louisiana. The rally cry of outraged students, teachers, and other public school supporters across Louisiana. A cry that they hope will echo through these walls, straight into the ears of state legislators. Steve Monaghan with LA Federation of Teachers says, “A world class education means a world class commitment and a world class investment.”
Governor Bobby Jindal has proposed that over $400 million be slashed from the Louisiana’s public schools’ budget, a gigantic cut that will affect every single public elementary, middle, high school, and college in the state. LSU Senior Whitney Breaux says, “We know that we are the future of Louisiana, we know we bring the best promise to improve our economic development.”
Those opposed to the cuts say even though the state is facing an economic shortfall, education should be the last place to look when it comes to cuts. Joyce Haynes with LA Association of Educators, “Louisiana has no future because the public school hasn’t been the surviving force here.” They say Louisiana’s leaders need to reprioritize spending habits by rejecting spending on voucher programs and saying no to funding charter and takeover schools. “Sick and tired of people taking public funds to support privatization.”
Public education leaders propose the state consider dipping into its economic development mega fund in order to fully fund public education. School supporters hope today’s demonstration made a big impression on lawmakers because the decision made in this session could affect many generations to come.