Letters: Teacher suits asked only due process

Your Dec. 22 editorial (Our Views: “A dedication, not free money”) convincingly expressed the argument that the Louisiana Federation of Teachers successfully pressed in court in two separate cases. Gov. Bobby Jindal’s sweeping overhaul of public education trampled the Louisiana Constitution.

As you wrote, it is an essentially conservative argument based on a strict-constructionist, literal reading of the Constitution.

What I cannot fathom is why The Advocate chose to insert the observation that the teacher union filing the lawsuits (that would be us) is “guilty of ignoring the legal issues raised by the wording of the state constitution.”

The lawsuits we filed against both Act 1 and Act 2 were based on constitutional grounds and a literal reading of the state’s bedrock document. We prevailed completely in one case, and partially in the other.

It is no secret that the Louisiana Federation of Teachers disagrees with the policies that came out of the constitutionally flawed acts.

At the time that Act 1 and Act 2 were under discussion in the Legislature, we wanted to have a thorough debate on the value of those policies.

That debate did not happen because both bills, with apparent disdain for the Constitution and fair process, were steamrolled into law.

It is our hope that once the constitutional challenges have been settled, we will have an opportunity to revisit those flawed policies and assist the Legislature and Board of Elementary and Secondary Education in bringing change that builds a better system of public education for all our children.

Steve Monaghan,
president, Louisiana Federation of Teachers
Baton Rouge