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2017 Marks 40-year Milestone In LAE's History

LAE's 2017 Representative Assembly marked a significant milestone in the association's history: 40 years of advocacy for Louisiana educators and the students they serve.

An organization born from the dedication and passion of thousands of Louisiana’s top education professionals, LAE’s roots are compelling and significant, not only to association members, but to the ever-changing landscape of the state’s public school system.

The headlines of time offer a glimpse into the past; a look inside the struggles and triumphs of the professional advocacy association known today as the LAE. The association looked quite different 40 years ago. In the 70’s, Louisiana’s two educator advocacy groups were segregated -- the Louisiana Education Association’s membership consisted of predominantly African American members, and the Louisiana Teachers Association’s members were predominantly Caucasian.

It was Governor Edwin Edwards who encouraged the two groups to merge, advising it would drive school professionals’ influence, not just with state lawmakers, but with the general public. In 1977, the two groups merged to establish the Louisiana Association of Educators - a bold new a voice fighting for fair treatment of both black and white educators in Louisiana.

The Louisiana Association of Educators continues to change, adapting to the environment of today’s public school culture. The association is driven by its members’ desire to ensure great public schools for every child in Louisiana – regardless of race, culture, family status, or circumstance. Members are committed to providing children with innovative school experiences that spark curiosity and inspire a true love for learning.

Unlike other educator-support organizations, the Louisiana Association of Educators’ efforts are driven by the voice of the members. The group’s initiatives are approved by a Board of Directors –teachers, education support professionals, and administrators - elected by educators from across the state. This group discusses, debates, and ultimately decides upon the direction of the association’s actions. Additionally, a larger representation of members gathers yearly at the annual LAE Representative Assembly, helping to continue the process of gathering feedback from members so that the needs of their schools and students are adequately addressed.

The association’s approach to tackling the most pressing issues in public education is firm but friendly. Members understand the need to stand steadfast in their beliefs, but also know that fair compromise and collective collaboration is needed to advance Louisiana’s public schools. Association representatives serve on several state commissions involved with education policy-making to offer the authentic feedback of the public school professionals serving in Louisiana’s schools.

The Louisiana Association of Educators fosters a community for education professionals to collaborate, support, and connect with their peers on their journeys to finding their professional voice. Special association-sponsored learning and networking events and social gatherings allow educators to come together with others who are going through similar professional experiences. Through the association’s ground-breaking training center – the LAE Teaching and Learning Center –  members are provided with the relevant professional and leadership development offerings needed to advance the profession. As the Louisiana Association of Educators continues to grow, members remain dedicated to the association’s mission: empowering educators to strengthen the profession to ensure great public schools for every child in Louisiana.

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