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Money In The Bank A Look At Political Spending By LAE & LFT in 2016

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Although the Louisiana Association of Educators (LAE) and Louisiana Federation of Teachers (LFT) largely stayed on the sidelines during last year’s electoral contests, a review of campaign finance reports filed by their political action committees over the past 12 months provides some interesting insights on our state’s two teachers unions.

Here are some highlights…

I. Both unions amassed lots of campaign cash in 2016

Filings with the Louisiana Board of Ethics show that LAE’s political action committee ended the year with over $146,000 on hand, up from the $102,000 they started with in January. Meanwhile, LFT PAC saw its fund balance more than triple over the course of 2016, going from $38,000 in January to more than $131,000 by the end of December.

II. They helped repay loans Sen. Milkovich gave to his own campaign

State Senator John Milkovich (D-Shreveport) received more money from the teachers unions than any other legislator last year. LAE PAC and LFT PAC gave the freshman senator a total of $5000 in 2016, which was used to retire his campaign debts.

Milkovich, who was elected to office in 2015, drew headlines last year for his cuckoo beliefs, such as his insistence that the federal REAL ID Act is an “effort to create a national database to spy on people” and his claim that “scientific research and development and advances in the last hundred years…have validated the biblical story of creation.”

State Senator John Milkovich (D-Shreveport)

On the other hand, Milkovich is a strong opponent of the Common Core State Standards (on the grounds that they promote “agnosticism, socialism and moral relativism”) and serves on the Senate Education Committee, which might explain why the unions helped cover his campaign debts. Interestingly enough, the only debts listed on Milkovich’s most recent campaign finance report were loans that he made to his own campaign.

III. They gave way more to Democrats than the GOP

OK, this probably doesn’t come as a big surprise, but LAE and LFT’s PACs spent way more on contributions and fundraisers for the Louisiana Democratic Party than they did on contributions and fundraisers for Republicans. In total, the two unions steered almost $19,000 to LDP in 2016, while La. GOP walked away with a measly $1,250 from LAE PAC.

Explore the rest of the data from LAE PAC and LFT PAC below…


Louisiana Association of Educators PAC

The Louisiana Association of Educators is the state affiliate of the National Education Association, the largest teachers union in the United States. The data below covers the period from January 1, 2016 to December 31, 2016.

LAE PAC Receipts

NAME CITY STATE DATE AMOUNT
LOUISIANA ASSOCIATION OF EDUCATORS Baton Rouge LA 1/6/16 $9,312.81
LOUISIANA ASSOCIATION OF EDUCATORS Baton Rouge LA 2/5/16 $5,697.31
LOUISIANA ASSOCIATION OF EDUCATORS Baton Rouge LA 3/3/16 $9,012.68
LOUISIANA ASSOCIATION OF EDUCATORS Baton Rouge LA 4/7/16 $8,184.49
ANITA J AUGUSTUS Baton Rouge LA 4/27/16 $20.00
KAREN G BELL Hammond LA 4/27/16 $20.00
MARY BONIER Creston LA 4/27/16 $20.00
SUZANNE D BREAUX Abbeville LA 4/27/16 $20.00
JANET M BROUSSARD New Iberia LA 4/27/16 $20.00
GERRI CARTER Gonzales LA 4/27/16 $20.00
JENNIFER R CHERAMIE Thibodaux LA 4/27/16 $20.00
BETH CLARK Minden LA 4/27/16 $5.00
PATRICIA A COLBERT- CORMIER Lafayette LA 4/27/16 $40.00
JANES CREWS Lafayette LA 4/27/16 $20.00
JENNIFER L DUGAL Abbeville LA 4/27/16 $5.00
RODOLFO ESPINOZA Lafayette LA 4/27/16 $10.00
DONALD G FONTENOT Lake Charles LA 4/27/16 $20.00
RACHEL M GIFFORD Cullen LA 4/27/16 $20.00
CRYSTAL GORDON Port Allen LA 4/27/16 $20.00
ANITA GREEN Slaughter LA 4/27/16 $20.00
CHRISTINE N GREEN Angie LA 4/27/16 $20.00
LISA G HAYES Denham Springs LA 4/27/16 $20.00
CYNTHIA Y HENDERSON Shreveport LA 4/27/16 $20.00
GWENDOLYN A HILL Baton Rouge LA 4/27/16 $20.00
SHELIA A IRVIN Darrow LA 4/27/16 $20.00
ANTHONY G JACKSON Jena LA 4/27/16 $20.00
VICKY B JOHNSTON Lake Charles LA 4/27/16 $20.00
DOUGLAS E JONES Angie LA 4/27/16 $20.00
LAMONICA S JONES West Monroe LA 4/27/16 $20.00
LINDA A JONES Abbeville LA 4/27/16 $20.00
DAWN M JORDAN Shreveport LA 4/27/16 $20.00
MELINDA MANGHAM Lafayette LA 4/27/16 $20.00
CAMMIE M MATURIN New Iberia LA 4/27/16 $20.00
MICHAEL H MCCOY Shreveport LA 4/27/16 $20.00
DEBORAH MEAUX Baton Rouge LA 4/27/16 $100.00
LEANA MILLER Scott LA 4/27/16 $20.00
TIA T MILLS Baton Rouge LA 4/27/16 $5.00
DENISE G MOULEDOUS Abbeville LA 4/27/16 $20.00
D’SHAY P OAKS Vidalia LA 4/27/16 $20.00
STEPHANIE D OWENS Shreveport LA 4/27/16 $40.00
JANICE R PEREA Houma LA 4/27/16 $5.00
FREDRICK L PINKNEY Ruston LA 4/27/16 $40.00
CHRISTINA E PRESLEY Bossier City LA 4/27/16 $40.00
KAREN J RICHARDSON Kaplan LA 4/27/16 $20.00
SUZETTE S RIDDLE Abbeville LA 4/27/16 $20.00
LUCIAN D ROBERSON Shreveport LA 4/27/16 $85.00
CYNDY W RUTHERFORD Baton Rouge LA 4/27/16 $20.00
SHERLEEN SANDERS Baton Rouge LA 4/27/16 $20.00
SARA SCOTT Denham Springs LA 4/27/16 $20.00
ROSLYNN A SEIBOLD Montegut LA 4/27/16 $100.00
ROSLYNN A SEIBOLD Montegut LA 4/27/16 $100.00
EMMA SHEPARD Shreveport LA 4/27/16 $20.00
MELISSA G SIKES Church Point LA 4/27/16 $60.00
VICTORIA M SIMMONS Houma LA 4/27/16 $40.00
PATSY L SONNIER Scott LA 4/27/16 $20.00
ELIZABETH A SULLIVAN Shreveport LA 4/27/16 $20.00
KATINA R THOMSPON- GIVENS Baker LA 4/27/16 $4.75
VELVA J TRASK Walker LA 4/27/16 $20.00
DIANE VICKERS Baton Rouge LA 4/27/16 $20.00
PAULA WILLIAMS Monroe LA 4/27/16 $20.00
DONNA M WILRIDGE Branch LA 4/27/16 $20.00
ERNESTINE S WINSLOW Clarence LA 4/27/16 $20.00
JOHN R WRIGHT Sorrento LA 4/27/16 $20.00
LOUISIANA ASSOCIATION OF EDUCATORS Baton Rouge LA 5/5/16 $5,942.98
DEBORAH MEAUX Baton Rouge LA 6/14/16 $100.00
SUZETTE S RIDDLE Abbeville LA 6/14/16 $10.00
WILLIAM S RIDDLE Abbeville LA 6/14/16 $20.00
AMY C BERGERON Scott LA 6/16/16 $20.00
JOHNELL D CELESTINE Opelousas LA 6/16/16 $50.00
DOLORES CORMIER-ZENON Carencro LA 6/16/16 $40.00
LYNDA GUIDRY Baton Rouge LA 6/16/16 $100.00
INETTE MALVEAUX New Iberia LA 6/16/16 $20.00
KAREN MERRITT Shreveport LA 6/16/16 $20.00
WILLIAM S RIDDLE Abbeville LA 6/16/16 $10.00
ANGELA ROTHERMEL Baton Rouge LA 6/16/16 $20.00
SHERLEEN SANDERS Baton Rouge LA 6/16/16 $20.00
PRUDENCE SPOONER Port Allen LA 6/16/16 $20.00
ALISHIA VALLIEN Opelousas LA 6/16/16 $20.00
LOUISIANA ASSOCIATION OF EDUCATORS Baton Rouge LA 6/17/16 $5,697.29
SUZANNE D BREAUX Abbeville LA 7/1/16 $20.00
THAI BROWDER Franklin LA 7/1/16 $30.00
DILEK BUCHHOLZ Baton Rouge LA 7/1/16 $20.00
HERMAN CLAYTON Lutcher LA 7/1/16 $20.00
JIM CROAD Minden LA 7/1/16 $5.00
KRISTIE DALTON Zachary LA 7/1/16 $10.00
JENNIFER L DUGAL Abbeville LA 7/1/16 $20.00
DARYL GATES Shreveport LA 7/1/16 $10.00
BARBARA GROTH Crowley LA 7/1/16 $30.00
EVET HARRIS Arcadia LA 7/1/16 $10.00
CYNTHIA Y HENDERSON Shreveport LA 7/1/16 $10.00
ELLEN HOLMES Palermo ME 7/1/16 $10.00
HEATHER HUNTER Silver Spring MD 7/1/16 $10.00
CAROLYN F JONES Harvey LA 7/1/16 $20.00
DAWN M JORDAN Shreveport LA 7/1/16 $20.00
AUSTIN LENORA Centerville LA 7/1/16 $30.00
LOUISIANA ASSOCIATION OF EDUCATORS Baton Rouge LA 7/1/16 $8,475.03
GREGG MILLS Alexandria LA 7/1/16 $20.00
ALICIA MITCHELL Monroe LA 7/1/16 $20.00
D’SHAY P OAKS Vidalia LA 7/1/16 $20.00
ANNIE J OLIPHANT Natchitoches LA 7/1/16 $20.00
ALMETRA PIERCE Centerville LA 7/1/16 $10.00
CHRISTINA E PRESLEY Bossier City LA 7/1/16 $20.00
KAREN J RICHARDSON Kaplan LA 7/1/16 $60.00
LUCIAN D ROBERSON Shreveport LA 7/1/16 $10.00
TRACI ROMERO New Iberia LA 7/1/16 $20.00
CYNDY W RUTHERFORD Baton Rouge LA 7/1/16 $20.00
GRANT SHREINER New Orleans LA 7/1/16 $10.00
ASHLEY SPURLOCK New Iberia LA 7/1/16 $20.00
VALERIE STOVALL Shreveport LA 7/1/16 $10.00
WANDESHA TRAYLOR Monroe LA 7/1/16 $20.00
SHELIA WASHINGTON Lake Charles LA 7/1/16 $20.00
VERNON WELLS Baton Rouge LA 7/1/16 $10.00
RENITA B WHITRACK Baton Rouge LA 7/1/16 $20.00
DONNA M WILRIDGE Branch LA 7/1/16 $20.00
ERNESTINE S WINSLOW Clarence LA 7/1/16 $20.00
LOUISIANA ASSOCIATION OF EDUCATORS Baton Rouge LA 7/8/16 $2,366.50
PATRICIA CLARK Greensburg LA 7/14/16 $20.00
PATRICIA CLARK Greensburg LA 7/14/16 $20.00
KIMERBLY K DOMANGUE Duson LA 7/14/16 $20.00
ANDREA GALLIANO Houma LA 7/14/16 $20.00
GWENDOLYN A HILL Baton Rouge LA 7/14/16 $20.00
LOUISIANA ASSOCIATION OF EDUCATORS Baton Rouge LA 8/1/16 $6,001.31
LOUISIANA ASSOCIATION OF EDUCATORS Baton Rouge LA 9/1/16 $7,100.30
LOUISIANA ASSOCIATION OF EDUCATORS Baton Rouge LA 10/12/16 $7,396.70
WILLIAM S RIDDLE Abbeville LA 10/3/16 $10.00
LOUISIANA ASSOCIATION OF EDUCATORS Baton Rouge LA 11/9/16 $5,439.64
DEBORAH MEAUX Baton Rouge LA 11/4/16 $25.00
WILLIAM S RIDDLE Abbeville LA 11/13/16 $10.00
LOUISIANA ASSOCIATION OF EDUCATORS Baton Rouge LA 12/8/16 $7,685.95

LAE PAC Disbursements

Disbursements: General Expenses

RECIPIENT CITY STATE DETAILS DATE AMOUNT
ASSOCIATION OF LOUISIANA LOBBYISTS Baton Rouge LA Conference Fee 1/6/16 $295.00
CAMPAIGN FINANCE Baton Rouge LA Statement of Organization 1/27/16 $100.00
HOTEL MONTELEONE New Orleans LA Travel Expense 1/15/16 $601.40
LOUISIANA HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES Baton Rouge LA Lobbyist Badges 1/6/16 $40.00
MYSTICK KREWE OF LOUISIANIANS INC. Baton Rouge LA Event Expense 1/15/16 $1,000.00
ROUSES MARKET #29 New Orleans LA Event Supplies 1/15/16 $216.01
ST. LANDRY PARISH DEMOCRATIC COMMITTEE Opelousas LA Event Expense 1/15/16 $280.00
LEADERS WITH VISION Baton Rouge LA Contribution 2/16/16 $180.00
LEGISCON Baton Rouge LA Special Session Fee 2/16/16 $650.00
POSTLETHWAITE & NETTERVILLE Baton Rouge LA PAC Management and Reporting Services 3/21/16 $3,000.00
GLOBAL TRANSPORTATION & LIMOUSINE SERVICES LL Metairie LA Transportation Expense 4/5/16 $600.00
HARRINGTON’S CAFE Baton Rouge LA Event Sponsorship 4/14/16 $412.16
HOUSE DEMOCRATIC CAMPAIGN COMMITTEE OF LA Baton Rouge LA Event Sponsorship 4/27/16 $1,750.00
LOUISIANA FEDERATION OF TEACHERS Baton Rouge LA Event Sponsorship 4/4/16 $1,750.00
LOUISIANA LEGISLATIVE BLACK CAUCUS Baton Rouge LA Contribution 4/4/16 $2,500.00
MORE VOTES LLC Jackson MS Live ID calls on behalf of the Vereta Lee Campaign 4/14/16 $1,300.00
POSTLETHWAITE & NETTERVILLE Baton Rouge LA PAC Management and Reporting Services 5/13/16 $700.00
REPUBLICAN LEGISLATIVE DELEGATION COMMITTEE Baton Rouge LA 2016 Elephant Stomp Fee 5/13/16 $1,250.00
BATON ROUGE MARRIOT Baton Rouge LA Event Expense 6/27/16 $2,366.50
DEMOCRACY ENGINE Washington DC Credit Card Processing Fees 6/16/16 $0.67
NORTHSHORE COMMUNITY FOUNDATION Covington LA HOOPLA Sponsorship 6/27/16 $1,000.00
SQUARE INC. San Francisco CA Credit Card Processing Fees 6/14/16 $4.70
SQUARE INC. San Francisco CA Credit Card Processing Fees 6/16/16 $9.08
AABACO SMALL BUSINESS Sunnyvale CA Website Expense 7/25/16 $101.77
NALPSE Denver CO Annual Dues 7/25/16 $350.00
WALMART SUPERSTORE Mansura LA Event Supplies 7/25/16 $419.72
FEDEX Lafayette LA Printing Expense 8/8/16 $87.37
LOUISIANA DEMOCRATIC PARTY Baton Rouge LA Event Tickets 8/8/16 $2,000.00
RUCK.US New York NY Website Expense 8/8/16 $20.00
ANGELA K MAURER Deville LA Refund of LAE PAC Dues 9/26/16 $10.00
ELISE SAUCE Morgan City LA Refund of LAE PAC Dues 9/26/16 $10.00
BURCHIE L SMITH Edmond OK Refund of LAE PAC Dues 9/26/16 $10.00
ANEDOT Baton Rouge LA Credit Card Processing Fees 10/3/16 $0.69
EVENTBRITE San Francisco LA Lafayette Lifetime Achievement Banquet 10/12/16 $472.16
HYATT REGENCY NEW ORLEANS New Orleans LA Travel Expense 10/12/16 $430.86
HYATT REGENCY NEW ORLEANS New Orleans LA Travel Expense 10/12/16 $59.57
LOUISIANA LEGISLATIVE BLACK CAUCUS Baton Rouge LA Annual Legislative Conference Tickets 10/13/16 $3,000.00
ANEDOT Baton Rouge LA Credit Card Processing Fees 11/4/16 $1.27
ANEDOT Baton Rouge LA Credit Card Processing Fees 11/13/16 $0.69
THE COMMITTEE FOR A BATTER WEST BATON ROUGE Brusly LA Contribution 11/7/16 $1,000.00
CANTINA LAREDO Nashville TN Food & Beverage 12/12/16 $99.87
LOEWS VANDERBILT HOTEL Nashville TN Lodging 12/12/16 $1,253.35
LOUISIANA ASSOCIATION OF EDUCATORS Baton Rouge LA Table Sponsorship 12/6/16 $450.00
LOUISIANA ASSOCIATION OF EDUCATORS Baton Rouge LA Payment of In-Kind Contributions for Carl Gaines Jr. 12/6/16 $905.98
LOUISIANA DEMOCRATIC PARTY Baton Rouge LA Contribution 12/6/16 $2,500.00
RACETRAC 492 Baton Rouge LA Event Supplies 12/15/16 $549.86
WILLIAM S RIDDLE Abbeville LA Mileage Expense 12/12/16 $550.00
THE SOUTHERN Nashville TN Food & Beverage 12/12/16 $130.94
UNION COMMON Nashville TN Food & Beverage 12/12/16 $85.01

Disbursements: Campaign Contributions

RECIPIENT CITY STATE DETAILS DATE AMOUNT
LAWRENCE A. (LARRY) BAGLEY Logansport LA Contribution for Debt Retirement 1/15/16 $1,000.00
SHARON HEWITT CAMPAIGN FUND Slidell LA Contribution for Debt Retirement 1/15/16 $500.00
JOHN MILKOVICH Shreveport LA Contribution for Debt Retirement 1/15/16 $2,500.00
DAWN COLLINS Baton Rouge LA   2/25/16 $1,000.00
VERETA LEE CAMPAIGN FUND Baton Rouge LA   3/3/16 $1,000.00
CARL GAINES, JR. Violet LA Direct Mail Printing 10/28/16 $412.50
CARL GAINES, JR. Violet LA Postage for Direct Mail 10/31/16 $291.77
LAWRENCE A. (LARRY) BAGLEY Logansport LA Contribution for Debt Retirement 11/7/16 $250.00
JEFF HALL CAMPAIGN Alexandria LA   11/7/16 $250.00
FRIENDS OF WESLEY BISHOP New Orleans LA   12/6/16 $500.00
SHARON W BROOME Baton Rouge LA   12/6/16 $2,500.00

LAE PAC Fund Balance



Louisiana Federation of Teachers PAC

The Louisiana Federation of Teachers is the state affiliate of the American Federation of Teachers, whose local unions include the United Teachers of New Orleans and the Jefferson Federation of Teachers. LFT The data below covers the period from January 1, 2016 to December 31, 2016.

LFT PAC Receipts

NAME CITY STATE DATE AMOUNT
AMERICAN FEDERATION OF TEACHERS Washington DC 1/5/16 $28,363.94
AMERICAN FEDERATION OF TEACHERS Washington DC 3/24/16 $25,398.26
AMERICAN FEDERATION OF TEACHERS Washington DC 5/11/16 $1,750.00
AMERICAN FEDERATION OF TEACHERS Washington DC 6/9/16 $45,941.15
AMERICAN FEDERATION OF TEACHERS Washington DC 7/22/16 $38,867.01
AMERICAN FEDERATION OF TEACHERS Washington DC 11/7/16 $24,330.78

LFT PAC Disbursements

Disbursements: General Expenses

NAME CITY STATE DETAILS DATE AMOUNT
LOUISIANA GOVERNMENTAL STUDIES INC. Lafayette LA 2016 Legislative Directories 1/4/16 $450.00
CAMPAIGN FINANCE Baton Rouge LA Statement of Organization fee 2016 1/25/16 $100.00
LEGLUE & CO. CPAS New Orleans LA Accounting fees Aug. 2015 – Dec. 2015 1/25/16 $1,875.00
LOUISIANA BOARD OF ETHICS Baton Rouge LA Lobbying Registration Fees – K. Bishop 2/3/16 $110.00
OFFICE OF SERGEANT AT ARMS-HOUSE Baton Rouge LA 2016 Lobbyist Badge 2/3/16 $10.00
LOUISIANA BOARD OF ETHICS Baton Rouge LA 2016 – Lobbying Registration Fees 2/5/16 $550.00
LEGISCON INC. Baton Rouge LA Legislative Materials – Invoice #17813 2/22/16 $4,725.00
LEGISCON INC. Baton Rouge LA User’s Guide – K. Bishop 2/25/16 $65.00
LOUISIANA DEMOCRATIC PARTY Baton Rouge LA Governor’s Circle Contribution for Breakfast Honoring Patrons 3/14/16 $5,000.00
LOUISIANA SENATE DEMOCRATIC CAMPAIGN COMMITTEE Baton Rouge LA 21st Annual Taste of the Senate 3/21/16 $3,500.00
LOUISIANA LEGISLATIVE BLACK CAUCUS Baton Rouge LA Donation 3/29/16 $2,500.00
LOUISIANA DEMOCRATIC PARTY Baton Rouge LA 2016 Donkey Romp Main Event 4/6/16 $1,750.00
HARRINGTON’S CAFE’ Baton Rouge LA House Democratic Caucus Lunch 4/15/16 $412.16
MORE VOTES LLC Jackson MS Calls made on behalf of Vereta Lee for Primary Election 4/15/16 $1,300.00
LOUISIANA LEGISLATIVE WOMEN’S Baton Rouge LA 2016 Women of Excellence (Chrisandra Lee) 4/29/16 $100.00
TREASURER OF THE STATE OF LA Baton Rouge LA Late filing penalty for the April 2016 Lobbyist Expenditure Report 6/10/16 $50.00
LOUISIANA ASSOCIATION OF EDUCATORS Baton Rouge LA LAE/LFT 2016 School Funding Campaign 7/6/16 $495.00
MORE VOTES LLC Jackson MS Calls – LA Legislators 7/6/16 $3,763.50
LOUISIANA ASSOCIATION OF EDUCATORS Baton Rouge LA LAE/LFT 2016 School Funding Campaign 7/14/16 $2,132.14
LOUISIANA DEMOCRATIC PARTY Baton Rouge LA 2016 Jefferson/Jackson Dinner Sponsorship 7/27/16 $2,000.00
LOUISIANA LEGISLATIVE BLACK CAUCUS Baton Rouge LA 2016 Bayou Classic Scholarship Jazz Brunch 9/30/16 $1,500.00
HEALTHY LOUISIANA ECONOMY PAC New Orleans LA PAC cashed check originally issued in 2014 and written off as uncashed in 2016. 10/19/16 $2,500.00
LEGLUE & CO. CPAS New Orleans LA Accounting fees Jan. 2016 – Oct. 2016 11/14/16 $3,750.00
LOUISIANA BOARD OF ETHICS Baton Rouge LA 2017 – Lobbying Registration Fees 12/13/16 $550.00
LOUISIANA GOVERNMENTAL STUDIES INC. Lafayette LA 2017 Legislative Directories 12/19/16 $1,125.00

Disbursements: Campaign Contributions

RECIPIENT CITY STATE DETAILS DATE AMOUNT
DAWN COLLINS CAMPAIGN Baton Rouge LA School Board – District 4 East Baton Rouge. 1/25/16 $1,000.00
JOHN MILKOVICH CAMPAIGN FUND Shreveport LA LA State Senate 1/26/16 $2,500.00
VERETA LEE CAMPAIGN FUND Baton Rouge LA LA House of Representatives – Dist. 29 3/14/16 $1,000.00
VERETA LEE CAMPAIGN FUND Baton Rouge LA LA House of Representatives – Dist. 29 4/19/16 $1,500.00
BARBARA NORTON CAMPAIGN Shreveport LA Campaign contribution 12/6/16 $2,500.00
COMMITTEE TO ELECT GARY CARTER JR. New Orleans LA Debt Retirement 2015 Primary Election 12/5/16 $250.00

LFT PAC Fund Balance

Pete became involved in education reform as a 2002 Teach For America corps member in New Orleans Public Schools and has worked in various capacities at Teach For America, KIPP, TNTP, and the Recovery School District. As a consultant, he developed teacher evaluation systems and served as a strategic advisor to school district leaders in Cleveland, Nashville, Chattanooga, and Jefferson Parish, Louisiana. He now writes about education policy and politics and lives in New Orleans.

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Peter C. Cook

Giving a pol $ for loans he made to himself 3 mo after Election Day is different from campaign giving when the outcome’s unclear

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Andrew Tuozzolo

eh, sort of. Could be going to a reelection kitty. Not really any functional diff

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Andrew Tuozzolo

sorry, but why? I mean, it’s the same as a donation during a campaign.

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Peter C. Cook

.@ConradAppel Or the $345,000 they spent on the OPSB races (although both technically came from AFT national): pcook.me/68sd

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Conrad Appel

Don’t forget the $600,000 that they spent in the Jefferson Parish School Board race recently!

via twitter.com

wpDiscuz

Louisiana

AFT On The Bayou Union Spends Less In Louisiana, But More On Charter Organizing in New Orleans

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The American Federation of Teachers (AFT) spent less overall in Louisiana in the past fiscal year than it did in F.Y. 2016, but the union boosted its funding for charter school organizing efforts in New Orleans by more than forty percent.

An analysis of expenditure data from AFT’s 2017 annual report to U.S. Department of Labor shows that the union spent $2,326,573 in Louisiana during the fiscal year that ended June 30th, a slight decrease from the from $2.49 million it spent in the state in 2016.

About a quarter of AFT’s spending went to political activities, which included nearly $125,000 in payments to the political action committee of the Louisiana Federation of Teachers, as well as a $15,000 contribution to Defend Louisiana, a super PAC behind Foster Campbell’s unsuccessful bid for the U.S. Senate last fall. In addition, AFT spent nearly $370,000 to influence last year’s Orleans Parish School Board elections, as I exposed in a previous blog post in January.

A diagram showing the distribution of AFT’s F.Y. 2017 spending in Louisiana.

AFT also invested heavily in organizing activities across the Bayou State. It gave nearly $192,000 to Red River United to support recruitment in Bossier, Caddo, and Red River Parishes. AFT spent another $184,000 on organizing in Monroe and $147,000 in Jefferson Parish.

Furthermore, AFT’s most recent annual report suggests that the union is stepping up its efforts to organize charter schools in the Big Easy. In F.Y 2017, AFT national poured $412,926 into its New Orleans Charter Organizing Project, a significant increase from the $292,000 it allocated in 2016. In all, AFT spent more than $850,000 on its New Orleans-based activities in the past year.

Although their recruitment efforts in the city have had mixed success, AFT’s willingness to spend substantial sums of money in New Orleans makes clear they still pose a serious threat. Over the past four years, AFT has steered more than $1.6 million to organize New Orleans charter schools and roll back the city’s reforms.

We need to remain vigilant to ensure that never happens.


Explore the data:


Read AFT’s 2017 annual report:

Continue Reading

LaLege

A Victory For Pettiness Over Progress Why Did The Governor Veto A Common Sense Education Bill?

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On Friday, Louisiana lawmakers voted to cancel a veto session to override Governor John Bel Edwards’ rejection of a number of bills passed by the legislature during this year’s regular session. The move was expected even though many Republican legislators accused the Governor of using his veto power to punish lawmakers who have consistently opposed his agenda.

Although the Governor’s line-item vetoes of construction projects in the state budget aroused the most controversy, the press largely overlooked his rejection of House Bill 568, a proposal from State Rep. Nancy Landry which would have revised the state’s student data privacy law.

Some background on H.B. 568

The story of House Bill 568 has its origins in a conversation I had last spring with a friend who works at the Center for Research on Education Outcomes (CREDO) at Stanford University. For years, CREDO has produced highly regarded studies on the effectiveness of the state’s charter schools using data provided by the Louisiana Department of Education (LDOE). However, in 2015, LDOE officials informed CREDO they could no longer provide access to that information due to changes in the state’s student data privacy law, passed by the legislature in 2014, which prohibited the department from sharing data with research institutions outside of Louisiana.

The Center for Research on Education Outcomes (CREDO) at Stanford has published highly regarded studies on the effectiveness of charter schools.

Without access to student performance data, CREDO’s research on Louisiana’s charter schools would grind to a halt and education policymakers would lose an objective, in-depth assessment of the health of the state’s charter sector. Moreover, the refusal to share data with out-of-state researchers would mean that Louisiana’s influence on the national education policy debate would be significantly diminished.

Seeking to avoid that outcome, my friend at CREDO reached out to see if I had any ideas on how they should proceed. I connected her with State Rep. Nancy Landry, who serves as chair of the House Education Committee, to explain the situation and see if she could help. Their subsequent discussions resulted in H.B. 568, which Landry filed during this year’s regular legislative session.

State Rep. Nancy Landry (R – Lafayette), is chair of House Education Committee and has clashed with the Governor over education policy.

The bill sought to carve out an exception to the overly broad changes lawmakers made in 2014 by allowing data to be shared (in accordance with standard data privacy protection procedures) with researchers at any college or university in the United States accredited and recognized by the U.S. Department of Education. In short, H.B. 568 was limited in scope and non-controversial, as evidenced by the fact that it passed by large margins in both the House (95-3) and Senate (27-7).


Read more about how researchers use student data:

Student data privacy and education research must be balanced

Last week, the U.S. House Committee on Education and the Workforce held a hearing on data privacy protections for students. Michael Hansen highlights the gravity of the debate around how Congress will update the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) for use in the modern age where big data is king.


So what’s with the veto?

Which brings us to the question of why Governor Edwards vetoed the legislation, especially when it had broad bipartisan support. Let’s start with the “official” rationale provided by the Governor in his veto message:

“The legislation requires LDOE to enter into a memorandum of understanding in which the person conducting such academic research agrees to be civilly liable for any fine imposed as a violation of authorized uses of the student information. Under current law, a person who violates authorized uses of the student information is subject to both criminal and civil penalties. House Bill 568 references civil penalties only relative to the memorandum of understanding. However, it does not create an exception to the criminal liability provisions in current law. Because of these drafting concerns, I have vetoed House Bill 568.”

The contention that the Governor felt compelled to veto the bill over a technicality – i.e., it didn’t create an explicit exception to the criminal liability provision in the current law – is unconvincing. Even though H.B. 568 didn’t specifically address criminal liability, it’s not at all clear that it necessarily needed to do so. In any case, from a practical standpoint, it is highly unlikely that a prosecutor would pursue a misdemeanor conviction – as opposed to a civil fine – against an employee of an out-of-state research institution. In fact, to my knowledge, no one has ever faced criminal charges in Louisiana for violating the state’s student data privacy law. It’s also worth noting that the Governor’s Office never raised this concern as H.B. 568 was winding its way through the legislature and could have been amended.

The Governor’s Office never raised concerns about H.B. 568 as it was making its way through the legislature.

When taken together, the facts suggest that the decision to veto House Bill 568 had little to do with the content of the legislation and more to do with its author. Rep. Landry has clashed with the Governor repeatedly over education policy in recent years and several of the Governor’s school-related proposals have died in the House Education Committee, which Landry chairs. Although Edwards would not be the first governor to use his veto pen to punish lawmakers who opposed his agenda, it makes no sense to apply it to a bill as innocuous and apolitical as H.B. 568, especially seeing that Rep. Landry had nothing to gain by sponsoring the legislation.

Nevertheless, Governor Edwards did just that. Thanks to his veto, Louisiana’s overly broad and mind-numbingly parochial student data privacy law remains in force. Out-of-state academics who want to study our public schools will be told to look elsewhere. And as a result, our public education system won’t be able to benefit from the knowledge and insights their research would provide.


Read House Bill 568:


Read the Governor’s Veto Message:

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