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La. Judge Strikes Down Teacher-Tenure Law

A Louisiana judge yesterday struck down a 2012 law overhauling teacher tenure and pay in the Pelican State, declaring it unconstitutional for taking on too many reforms in the scope of one measure.

The law, Act 1, was signed last April. It required districts to tether teacher pay to new evaluation systems beginning in January of this year, required layoffs to be based on performance rather than seniority, and granted tenure only to teachers identified as "effective" on their evaluations for five years in a six-year period.

The Louisiana Federation of Teachers had challenged the law in court, and initially Judge Michael Caldwell upheld the sections dealing with teacher quality. But he agreed to revisit his ruling after the union and state officials requested a review.

It's the second blow to Gov. Bobby Jindal's education overhaul package. Parts of Act 2, which expanded a state voucher program, were also deemed unconstitutional last November.

Jindal administration officials said they will appeal the ruling to the state Supreme Court.

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