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Louisiana judge throws out legislation upending teacher laws - again

For the second time in less than a year, a Baton Rouge judge has thrown out a 2012 law that included revamping Louisiana’s teacher tenure laws, salary rules, evaluation requirements and a plethora of other teacher-related issues.

For the second time in less than a year, a Baton Rouge judge has thrown out a 2012 law that included revamping Louisiana’s teacher tenure laws, salary rules, evaluation requirements and a plethora of other teacher-related issues

District Judge Michael Caldwell struck down the same law last spring, but the State of Louisiana appealed his ruling to the state Supreme Court. They remanded the suit back to Caldwell's court and asked him to reconsider

The original suit was filed by the Louisiana Federation of Teachers, who asked the court to overturn the law because, they claimed it violated the ‘Single Object’ section of the Louisiana Constitution that mandates that each bill proposing a law “shall be confined to one object.” (Article 3, Section 15).

In his March 2013 ruling, Caldwell agreed the law violated the state Constitution because there were so many issues addressed in the legislation.

Caldwell did review the legislation, but today again ruled it violated the single object requirement, and therefore is unconstitutional.

Although Landsdale, president of the Red River United Federation of Teachers said the Federation found “a number of disputed items” throughout the legislation, the constitutional requirement makes everything else in the law moot.

Jimmy Faircloth, counsel for the state, said he "was certain" the Jindal administration would again appeal the ruling to the state Supreme Court.

Gov. Bobby Jindal issued a statement shortly after Caldwell’s rule came down:
                                                  
 "We believe (the legislation) is Constitutional and we are going to appeal to the Supreme Court. This was the same decision the judge made last time, and we appealed it.  The Supreme Court sent it back and asked him to reconsider.  He issued the same decision.  We will appeal to the Supreme Court again. The law will continue to be in effect. These reforms are constitutional and will help improve Louisiana schools for children and families across the state. The law rewards effective teachers for their hard work and ensures that we have a great teacher in the classroom so that our children have the opportunity succeed."


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