While Gov. Bobby Jindal and his legislative allies celebrate the passage of sweeping changes to the state’s public-education system, some local teachers and teachers-in-training say they fear for the future the reforms have created.
Among the many education bills Jindal has pushed for this legislative session, several bills have already passed that would make it more difficult for teachers to earn tenure, place greater hiring and firing powers in the hands of principals and more closely tie teachers’ pay to student performance instead of seniority, among others.
Jindal and his allies say these changes are good for teachers. Those who excel in the classroom, for example, could earn more cash for their efforts.
But teachers state-wide have vehemently protested the changes. Two protests at the state capital each drew hundreds of teachers from all over the state, who claimed the bills would “dismantle” public education.
Locally, criticism of the bill has been more muted. But there are signs that some teachers in Houma-Thibodaux are nervous.
Lafourche School System spokesman Floyd Benoit said numerous teachers have contacted the central office checking in on their retirement accounts.