Several key education bills will be discussed during the legislative session that begins next week in Louisiana.

Big topics will include pay raises for teachers and support staff. One proposal would also include extra pay for teachers who work in disadvantaged schools or teachers who are high performers. That part of the bill is meeting with resistance from teacher unions across the state.

Other bills are aimed at addressing the teacher shortage in Louisiana. Lawmakers are looking for ways to encourage more young people to go into the teaching profession.


But another education bill is not getting much attention, yet. HB 121 by Beryl Amedée of Houma mandates least 15 minutes for public school students in all K-5 schools in Louisiana.

Current law has requirements for a minimum number of instructional minutes for the school day (360) and a minimum number of instructional days for the school year (177) for grades one through 12 in public schools. The current law does not have any mention about recess.

School districts make the decision about recess on a district by district basis. But the recess time can not be counted toward instructional minutes.

Do Caddo and Bossier Schools Have Recess?

Caddo Parish officials tell KEEL News "elementary schools still have recess and the times are determined at the campus level." Bossier Parish officials tell us "K-5 students in Bossier Parish do still have daily recess. The time varies at each school depending on their enrichment activities, but there are movement activities built into each day."

The proposed law requires "at least 15 minutes of recess each day, consisting of supervised, unstructured free play."

Amedee says she has tried to get a similar bill passed before, but she can not get it passed. Many parishes oppose the mandate because they don't have time in the school day for recess time.

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