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Planning Time: The Good, The Bad, The Ugly

  • The Good – Planning time is in law.

§434.  Planning time and lunch periods for teachers; required

A.(1)  The State Board of Elementary and Secondary Education shall adopt necessary rules and regulations requiring, beginning with the 2000-2001 school year, each city and parish school board to provide a minimum of forty-five minutes daily planning time, or its weekly equivalent, and a minimum of thirty minutes for lunch each day which shall be duty-free for every teacher actively engaged in the instruction and supervision of students in the public schools.  Implementation of planning time and lunch periods as required in this Section for teachers shall not result in a lengthened school day.

(2)  The provisions of this Subsection shall be subject to the availability of state funds for this purpose.**

B.  Nothing in this Section shall be construed to affect the provisions of R.S. 17:154.1 relative to required instructional time in the school day.

C.  This Section shall not apply to a city or parish school board operating under the terms of a collective bargaining agreement applicable to teachers employed by the board.

**The MFP is the only funding source from the state and it is considered fully funded.

  • The Bad – There is no definition for planning.  Other states i.e. Texas, Arkansas, have definitions limiting what can and cannot be required during planning time.  This is not a power grab from principals. This is to address statewide issues in interpretation of planning time.

 

  • The Ugly – In order to remedy the lack of definition in Louisiana Code, we asked the House Education to pass a resolution requiring The State Board of Education to provide a definition.

 

  • The Good – Representative Barbara Norton supported educators by sponsoring the resolution.

 

  • The Bad – The resolution failed by 2 votes.

 

  • The Ugly – Although two of our local legislators, Thompson and Reynolds supported teachers voting yes,  two of our local legislators, Burns and Carmody voted against it.
  • The Good, the really Good! – During his testimony, State Superintendent John White stated that planning is in law and not providing it is a violation of law. (video)

In speaking with Superintendent White, we shared that we were poised to go to court regarding planning time violations. He indicated that we should.  We expressed that we would call him as an expert witness.

 

Where we stand – please review the law as provided above.  Any violation of any portion of this law should be immediately reported.  We have worked this through the grievance process, therefore, any further violations on any aspect of this law, we go to court.