The strongest opposition to the measures has come from the Louisiana Federation of Teachers. In committee hearings, the union's leaders have complained that the existing collective bargaining agreement in New Orleans would no longer apply at the affected schools.As usual, teachers will be the ones to pay the price for education reform.
But no one spoke against the bill in the Senate and, with Blanco looking on from the side, the bill by Sen. Ann Duplessis, D-New Orleans, was approved 34-4.
"The protection of our teachers is very important, but this bill is 100 percent about the children," said Duplessis, who split with other members of her city's delegation and the Louisiana Legislative Black Caucus in supporting Blanco's measure.
In the House, there was more debate, but the support for the concept was just as strong.
"You're just creating another problem," said Rep. Arthur Morrell, D-New Orleans, echoing critics who said the proposal is being rushed through the Legislature.