Sunday, May 10, 2015

This Week at the Capitol: May 11-15


The following is a very brief but important summary of some of the issues that will be discussed and decided this week at the Capitol.  Please try to attend if at all possible.  If you are unable to attend, please be sure to call and email your representative about these important bills!



HB 418, the “paycheck protection bill” will be voted on by the full house on Wednesday.  The payroll protection bill aims stop automatic deductions of union dues for government employees.  This bill passed favorably out of the Committee on Labor and Industrial Relations with a vote of 6-9.  This bill is a top priority for LABI.  Representative Bishop (the sponsor of the bill) claims this is a needed change that will save taxpayer dollars.  Nice sugar coating Rep Bishop, but we now know the truth of the matter about the intentions of this bill, clearly seen in the following video.  This bill IS AIMED AT OUR TEACHERS. Watch this video to see for yourself:
video



This article from Lafayette Daily advertiser does a great job of explaining the big picture.  

Contact your local State Representative and ask them to vote no on this.  Lets “shut off the aorta" of LABI’s  control of OUR public education system!



The House Education Committee will meet on Tuesday and Wednesday this week.  
This is a link to the full agenda, for both days.  On the agenda are the following bills that are important to our cause:

On Tuesday:
HB21 (Edwards) Schools/Charter
Prohibits the State Boards of Elementary and Secondary Education from authorizing charter schools under certain circumstances.
*Remember what has happened to the Lafayette Parish School Board (severe budget deficit) with the opening of several charters against the will of the Parish. 


HB648 (Schroder)
Provides relative to the access by parents and teachers to assessments administered to students.  


HB718 (Schroder)
Provides relative to the collection and sharing of certain student information.



On Wednesday:

HB113 (Barrow)  Student/ Assessment
Prohibits the administration of standards based assessments to public school students in the 2015-2016 school year.
*LAPACC feels that no matter which "side" you are on with regards to the PARCC test, this would be a very sensible bill which would allow for Louisiana students and teachers to catch a much needed break from testing while all of the details are figured out.  We feel that even with a year long break from testing, there is a good chance students may still learn something (sarcasm intended).



HB373 (Geymann) Student/ Standards
Provides for the implementation of state content standards for public school students subject to legislative approval




HB672 (Harris) Student/Standards
Provides relative to the development, review, and adoption of state content standards and related assessments for public school students.


WE NEED BODIES AT THE CAPITOL!



If it is at all possible for you to make it to Baton Rouge, please consider coming to the capitol.  We  need to “show” that we ARE paying attention and that we care about what is going on.  You can guarantee that organizations like Stand for Children will be there, likely with their bussed in parents.

You can plan to come and testify if you have comments that you would like to make.  If you are not comfortable testifying, you can still submit a red or green card to show your support or opposition for a given bill.  If you are able to make it or not, please be sure to send emails to the House Education Committee members. 

Handy House Ed Email Block:
carters@legis.la.gov, jeffersonpo@legis.la.gov, bishopw@legis.la.gov, broadwaterc@legis.la.gov, burnsh@legis.la.gov, carmodyt@legis.la.gov, edwardsj@legis.la.gov, hallj@legis.la.gov, henryc@legis.la.gov, hollisp@legis.la.gov,iveyb@legis.la.gov, landryn@legis.la.gov, legerw@legis.la.gov, pricee@legis.la.gov, reynoldsg@legis.la.gov, richardj@legis.la.gov, shadoinr@legis.la.gov, smithp@legis.la.gov, williamsa@legis.la.gov, larep036@legis.la.gov




Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Opt Out Confusion


LAPACC has remained neutral and out of the conversation having to do with Opting out of the PARCC "like" test.  We feel that the decision to "opt out" is a very personal decision made by a parent for his or her child.  

At this point, we feel the need to speak out.  Parents are being given false information by the leaders of their schools and school board officials. This does not seem to be an isolated issue, but instead a very widespread problem.  

We aim only to arm parents with accurate information so that YOU can make the best decision for YOUR child.  At this point, you need to question everything you are told.  Apparently, there is much pressure being placed on schools to change the minds of parents who want to opt out.

Q:  How do I opt-out my child from the "PARCC" test?  
A:  You can print this OPT OUT  letter or write your own.

Q:  Where do I turn in the opt-out letter?  
A:  You can drop it off at the school or call your local school board and ask if they are        accepting the letters. 

Q:  Do you have to meet with administration, sign anything in the presence of an administrator or explain why you are opting your child out? 
A:  No, if they ask to meet with you, politely decline the invitation. If they persist, ask to see the law stating that you have to sign an opt-out from in front of administration. (There is NO law)

Q:  What will my child be doing during testing? 
A:  This needs to be answered by the school. Most likely they will be given work to do and may or may not be in the same room as PARCC testing.

Q:  Does my child have to miss school on scheduled PARCC testing days? 
A:  No, the school cannot ask you to miss school and receive an unexcused absence. 

Q:  Will my child fail this year by not taking PARCC? 
A:  The test will have no impact on pupil progression (passing to the next grade level) this 2014-2015 school year.

Q:  Does PARCC accommodate my child with IEP and 504 plan which is required by law? 
A:  PARCC is in conflict of federal law and NOT allowing read-aloud for the reading comprehension. If accommodations are not met this could be grounds for a civil rights violations. (Need help in filing a violation: How to file a civil rights complaint)

Q:  Will my child be denied honors or AP classes if he or she is opted out of the PARCC test? 
A:  No, grades from previous years, teacher recommendations, and parent requests all factor in if a child is in honors or AP classes.

Q:  Will opting out affect the teachers? 
A:  No, there will be no VAM (Value Added Measure) for this school year, meaning that teachers will NOT be held accountable for the PARCC scores.

Q:  Will opting out affect the schools? 
A:  Yes, as of right now zeros will have an effect on overall percentage contributing to the schools letter grade. If there are a significant number of opt-outs John White (Louisiana State Superintendent of education) stated that BESE may consider a moratorium on school letter grades for next year.

Q:  Is there a way to get PARCC out of our schools? 
A:  YES! By way of legislation. Get involved and call your State Representatives, voice your concerns about PARCC.


If you have questions, please feel free to ask.  We don't claim to be the experts... but we will do everything we can to find the right info for you!

This is our state bullying policy and process for filing a complaint. This applies to adults as well as students! http://www.louisianabelieves.com/sc…/public-schools/bullying

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Opt Out Question we have received: 

I need to know where it is stated that schools cannot give your student an unexcused absence or require them to stay home please. 

Ladies and Gentlemen, the principals can not tell you to have your child skip school! 

From Lee Barrios: 
A school would be contributing to the delinquency of a minor if they told the student not to come to school. School districts also require attendance a minimum number of hours a semester in order to qualify for progression. A student can fail just based on absences, excused or unexcused 

This link explains the truancy law: http://www.lawserver.com/law/state/louisiana/la-laws/louisiana_childrens_code_title_vii_chapter_15 

Here is a link to Louisiana State Law (Regarding Mandatory school attendance): http://www.legis.la.gov/Legis/Law.aspx?d=80276