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HB 1277 – Teacher Tenure and Due Process

HB 1277 by Rep. Jeff Thompson (R-Shreveport)  is a bill that improves the state law governing the discipline and dismissal of teachers has passed both houses of the legislature and awaits Governor Bobby Jindal’s signature. The bill is limited to those sections of Act 1 of 2012 that deal with the discipline and dismissal of teachers. No longer will the superintendent have the sole final word on dismissal of teachers. Teachers recommended for termination may present their case to a hearing officer chosen at random from a list of individuals approved by the school board. Unlike Act 1’s provisions, in which a three-person advisory panel’s decision was not binding, the hearing officer is empowered to reverse a superintendent’s decision. The bill includes other provisions aimed at making sections of Act 1 into a clearer, fairer process. Read more here.

Red River United’s State affiliate, the Louisiana Federation of Teachers filed lawsuit against Act 1 in June of 2012, soon after Act 1 was passed. Since then, a LA state court has ruled Act 1 of 2012 unconstitutional in it’s entirety on two (2) seperate occasions because it violates a prohibition on bundling too many objectives in a single law. Our objections to Act 1 go far deeper than just the questionable way it was railroaded through the system. The Louisiana state attorney has appealed the judge’s decision, so the law will remain in effect until the Supreme Court of Louisiana makes a final decision.  HB 1277 helps to ensure due process when dealing with the dismissal and termination of teachers as we mitigate the damages of the bill until the high court makes a final decision.