State Board of Elementary & Secondary Education
Candidates in the seven contested Louisiana Board of Elementary & Secondary education races received endorsements by the Louisiana School Boards Association Political Action Committee.
The new LSBA-PAC has recognized the current education system threat and endorsed a slate of seven candidates who are pledged to protect local interests. Those endorsed for the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education seats being contested are: Lee Barrios for the 1st District, Louella Givens (2nd District), Lottie Polozola Beebe (3rd District), Keith Guice (5th District), Donald Songy (6th District), Dale Bayard (7th District), and Domoine D. Rutledge (8th District). Walter Lee, the incumbent 4th District member is unopposed but was recognized by the LSBA-PAC for his dedication to public school students. Four legislative candidates who were chosen as LSBA Educators of the Year also received endorsements. They are Sen. Bob Kostelka of Monroe, Sen. Ben Nevers of Bogalusa, Rep. Pat Smith of Baton Rouge and Rep. Herbert Dixon, Alexandria.
These candidates have signified they are not part of the unproven, non-research based, test driven, privatization plan which is a national initiative supported by Jindal. The expected priority push in education by the forces supporting Gov. Jindal is part of an unproven, non-research based, test driven, privatization plan fostered by such organizations as the American Legislative Exchange Council, and the American Federation for Children. Opponents of the LSBA-PAC endorsed candidates are backed by these national front organizations.
What is this movement about?
Privatization of group health insurance, retirement overhaul, expansion of vouchers and tax exemptions for private school tuition, elimination of teacher tenure, continued shifting of mandates to local public school money sources, expansion of the Recovery School District to all parts of the state, expansion of charter school movement, increased state take-over of schools, expansion of student-based-budgeting to by-pass funds going to the central office, and reduced local control of education policy, curriculum and oversight.
What can we do in the face of a political onslaught with more than $1.4 million behind it?
Begin a massive personal communications campaign to spread the word among families and friends. Social media, such as Facebook, Tweeter, You Tube, and e-mails are commonplace tools in todayís politics. Link up to our candidate sites and to LSBAís for developing issue exploitation. Reach out to candidates for outward signs of endorsement (yard signs, bumper strips, door-hangers). And, ask neighbors to post yard signs as well.
The candidates selected by LSBA-PAC stand firmly against expansion of vouchers and tax-exemption programs. The current pilot in vouchers reveals that students attending private schools with voucher help do not perform as well as even the poorly performing RSD schools.
The tried-and-true candidates LSBA-PAC supports are against Gov. Jindalís demand to name John White to the stateís top job. He is a transplant from New York and does not hold qualifications to be even a public school principal in Louisiana. His commitment to terminating long-time teachers and replacing them with untrained Teach for America teachers has been demonstrated in New Orleans. His commitment to charter schools is exhibited in spite of the many failures recently come to light.
If school teachers and parents are not sufficiently concerned about the theft of school systems that were largely built with local tax dollars, then there will be little hope for public education. What will emerge if Gov. Jindalís agenda is successfully installed is a multi-tiered system with poor children in under-performing schools. That can be seen now in the current New Orleans schools run by the RSD.
It is time to rally those forces that will be most severely by Gov. Jindalís agenda for education in Louisiana.