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Saturday, August 18, 2018
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Panelist Bio


Steve Monaghan
Louisiana Federation of Teachers President

Steve Monaghan is the president of the Louisiana Federation of Teachers (LFT), a union representing teachers, paraprofessionals and school-related personnel. LFT is an affiliate of the American Federation of Teachers (AFT).New Orleans native Monaghan was first elected president of the LFT in 2003. In November of 2010, he was elected to his fourth term in office.

At the beginning of his career, Monaghan taught English, Speech, Creative Writing, and Computer Science in Orleans and Jefferson Parish schools. An active union member in both districts, he served as building representative and area coordinator, and, during the extended Jefferson Federation of Teachers' strike, was a zone coordinator.

Monaghan joined the state staff of the Louisiana Federation of Teachers in 1988, and served as Executive Director of Organizing for the East Baton Rouge Federation of Teachers from 1992 to 1999.

He joined the staff of the American Federation of Teachers as a National Representative in June 1999, and directed AFT organizing projects in East Baton Rouge Parish, the City of Monroe, Calcasieu Parish and with the United Federation of College Teachers, and directed the AFT's Campaign 2000 in Louisiana.

Monaghan served as the Director of the Louisiana Professional Educators Group from 2000 until 2001, when he was reassigned to work with the Colorado Federation of Public Employees in Denver. From there he went to Wisconsin to assist the Wisconsin Federation of Teachers in addressing the problem of 11 contracts held hostage by the legislature.

Just prior to his return to Louisiana, Monaghan worked with the New Mexico Federation of Teachers in a successful effort to launch statewide collective bargaining campaigns.

Steve and his wife Becky live in Baton Rouge.

Current Topic


     08/18 - The Power of Reading

How can we make inroads to improve adult literacy in Louisiana and champion a joy of reading from pre-school into adulthood?
The ability to read sets the foundation of who we are and what we can be. Through reading we expand our world, learn new things and increase our base of knowledge. In fact, a parent’s reading level is the greatest factor in a child’s academic success. Children who can’t read proficiently by the third grade are four times more likely to drop out of high school.

In Louisiana, 20 percent of adults are illiterate – five points higher than the national rate. How is Louisiana combatting its illiteracy problem across generational lines? How can we make inroads to improve adult literacy in Louisiana and champion a joy of reading from pre-school into adulthood?

Louisiana Public Square: The Power of Reading looks for answers and explores the value of lifelong reading through the lens of the PBS series The Great American Read Wednesday, August 22 at 7pm on LPB and in New Orleans on WLAE. (Recorded Tuesday, August 14 in the Magnolia Performing Arts Pavilion at Baton Rouge Community College.)

Our panelists are:
- Linda-Marie Barrett, Southern Independent Booksellers Alliance (SIBA)
- Rebecca Hamilton, MLIS; Louisiana State Librarian
- Danny Heitman; Journalist and Louisiana author
- Miranda Restovic, Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities (LEH).
- Gary Robertson; Adult Literacy Advocates

The program features interviews with John Cavalier, owner of Cavalier House Books; Gary Robertson, Executive Director of Adult Literacy Advocates; representatives from the LEH PRIME TIME intergenerational reading program, and Superintendent John White with the Louisiana Department of Education.

LPB CEO Beth Courtney and Robyn Merrick, Southern University VP of External Affairs, host the show.

Louisiana Public Square can also be heard on public radio stations WRKF in Baton Rouge; Red River Radio in Shreveport and Monroe; and WWNO in New Orleans. Check their station websites for schedule.

This episode of Louisiana Public Square is underwritten by Community Coffee’s Cash for Schools Program, the Louisiana Forestry Association, LSU Press and the Southern Independent Booksellers’ Authors Round the South.

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Special Presentation


     05/16 - Louisiana Veterans Coming Home

What challenges do our returning veterans face?

Coming Soon!


     09/18 - Revisiting Reform

Are the criminal justice reforms working as intended?

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