Louisiana Education Reform Bills Face Final Hurdle This Week

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Louisiana teachers have planned another rally for Wednesday at the state Capitol, the day when the key parts of Gov. Bobby Jindal’s education reform package try to clear what could be their final hurdle.

House bills making changes to the teacher tenure system and setting up a school choice system are scheduled to be heard that day after clearing the Senate Education Committee last week without opposition. The school choice bill first has to clear the Senate Finance Committee today, which is expected to happen.

If the Senate amends the legislation, it would have to go back to the House for its approval. However, if the bills emerge unchanged, they would go directly to Jindal for his signature. That would make education reform one of the cornerstones of his second term.

Meanwhile, the governor’s other key package — retirement reform scheduled for committee hearings after Easter — came under a cloud after a Dallas law firm specializing in retirement issues said Jindal’s proposals would likely be declared unconstitutional. Kyle Plotkin, the governor’s communications chief, insisted the planned reforms are constitutional.

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