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The Supreme Court throws out a Trump-era ban on gun bump stocks; a look at how social media algorithms and Shakespearian villains have in common; and states receive federal funding to clean up legacy mine pollution.

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The Supreme Court for now protects access to abortion drug mifepristone, while Senate Republicans block a bill protecting access to in-vitro fertilization. Wisconsin's Supreme Court bans mobile voting sites, and colleges deal with funding cuts as legislatures target diversity programs.

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As summer nears, America's newest and largest international dark sky sanctuary beckons, rural job growth is up, but full recovery remains elusive, rural Americans living in prison towns support a transition, while birth control is more readily available in rural areas.

Potential state constitution changes worry LA teachers

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Friday, May 10, 2024   

Teachers in Louisiana are trying to stop an upcoming constitutional convention proposed by Gov. Jeff Landry. The governor, who has been in office for three months, is demanding that state legislators and 27 of his appointees convene from May 20 through June 3 to rewrite the state's constitution.

Baton Rouge first-grade teacher Jaret Guidry is concerned by the governor's lack of specifics.

"I have been emailing all of my representatives and Congress men and women," Guidry said, "saying, 'This is too rushed, this is not a good idea, something's going to get missed, something's going to be done wrong.' You cannot effectively go through this document in a matter of weeks."

K-through-12 school funding, retirement security for teachers, school bus drivers and other public employees who don't pay into the Social Security system are protected in the current state constitution. The Louisiana Federation of Teachers has posted petitions opposing the convention on its website.

The Louisiana Constitution was last amended in 1973. The convention then lasted 12 months under then-Gov. Edwin Edwards.

If the new convention occurs now, said Ascension Parish history teacher Jacob Newsom, lawmakers could make decisions that change the lives of everyone in Louisiana.

"We've got a lot to be concerned about," Newsom said. "Number one, Jeff Landry - based on his own proclamations and actions - does not appear to be a friend of public education and if given the chance, I would assume he was going to remove the protections that we got placed in the constitution for public-education funding and Medicaid funding, and all these other programs."

Landry's office has said the convention would only focus on rewriting the articles that govern taxes and spending.


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