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School Board Reform - Wednesday, June 3, 2009
School Board Reform?
 
Winning may not be everything…
 
But, when the proponents of HB 851 included Gov. Bobby Jindal, U.S. Senator Mary Landrieu, State Superintendent of Education Paul Pastorek, the purported big business lobby, most chambers of commerce and news media are the foes, then school board members from all parts of Louisiana are entitled to take a bow.
 
After more than ninety-minutes of vigorous debate the proposed legislation to remove power from the hands of locally-elected school boards failed to pass. A vote on the floor of the House of Representatives fell in flames by a vote of 46 yeas and 51 nays.
 
State Superintendent Pastorek risked much of his credibility in campaigning tirelessly in all parts of the state in behalf of the school board “reform” legislative initiative. He admitted to driving over 100,000 miles selling his change agenda.
 
Tuesday’s vote on the centerpiece of a 10 element proposal, the aim of which was to render locally-elected school boards powerless, is the last of those proposals he made to the state Board of Elementary and Secondary Education.
 
Campaigns can be costly. Pastorek, who is paid in excess of $400,000 ($200 per hour), spent countless hours driving to and fro meeting with editorial boards, and delivering the change message to chambers and civic clubs. The big business associations spent thousands polling and campaigning in behalf of the change agenda.
 
The 69 Louisiana school boards spent nothing to bring down the bill. Tireless effort by individuals who were elected to look out for the best interests of the children entrusted to their care carried the message to legislators who were sufficiently strong to stand up to the serious political pressure of denying the will of Gov. Jindal and Sen. Landrieu.
 
These 51 Legislators proved their valor, their openness to reason, and their dedication to doing what is right for the children of Louisiana.   These 51 legislators are deserving of
 
THANKS
 
Armes,          Geymann           Montoucet
Badon,          B. Guillory          Norton
Barras           Harrison             Pearson
Barrow          Hazel                 Perry
Brossett         Henderson         Peterson
Burford          Hill                    Pugh 
Burrell            Honey               Richmond
Chandler        Howard              Ritchie
Cromer          Hutter                Roy
Danahay        Jackson M.         Simon
Dixon            Johnson              Smith, G.
Doerge          Jones, R.            Smith, P.
Edwards         Kleckley             St. Germain
Ellington         LeBas                Stiaes
Fannin            Little                  Williams
Franklin          Mills                   Willmott
Gallot             Monica               Wooton

 

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