Louisiana News

Quick hits: Louisiana news briefs for Tuesday, March 17

Workforce Commission: Help available for workers losing money due to virus; cases reviewed individually
Financial assistance is available for people who are not working and not getting paid or have had their hours reduced due to the coronavirus response, the Louisiana Workforce Commission says.
“A number of factors determine eligibility for benefits,” the state employment agency says. “The LWC reviews each case separately.”
Businesses temporarily closing or reducing hours can contact the LWC at EmployerServices@lwc.la.gov with questions about unemployment insurance and other programs. Other resources include local American Job Centers.
State school board suspends accountability measures and graduation requirements; requests more flexibility
The Louisiana Board of Elementary and Secondary Education announced Monday that school performance scores, district performance scores, and early childhood performance profiles for the 2019-2020 academic year will not be produced due to coronavirus-related closures, per BESE’s long-standing disaster policy.
Many diploma requirements for graduating seniors, including end-of-course exam requirements, have been waived, along with promotion rules for children in grades 4 and 8. Teacher evaluations can be completed with no further action, other than recording in the appropriate data system.
BESE is asking Gov. John Bel Edwards to suspend several statutes for the 2019-2020 school year, including those enforcing school and district accountability systems and statewide testing requirements.
“In the unprecedented times we face, we must afford our educators the most flexibility in the important work they do,” BESE President Sandy Holloway and House Education Chairman Ray Garofalo say in a letter to Edwards
Louisiana reports fourth death from COVID-19
Four deaths from COVID-19, the illness caused by the new coronavirus, have been reported in Louisiana so far, according to the Louisiana Department of Health. As of Tuesday morning, 171 cases had been reported.
The state lab had completed 457 tests. The number of tests completed by private labs is unknown.
Symptoms of COVID-19 can include fever, coughing and trouble breathing. Most people who have it develop only mild symptoms. But some people, usually the elderly and those with other medical complications, develop more severe symptoms, including pneumonia, which can be fatal.
– The Center Square
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