(Editor’s Note: The following letter by Greg Davis, regional vice president for the Council for a Better Louisiana, urges lawmakers to vote in favor of House Bill 851, one of four school board reform bills filed for the spring legislative session and the only one still alive. HB 851 will be debated on the House floor Tuesday.)
On the issue of school board reform, chambers of commerce and economic development groups from across the state have lined up to back legislation at the Capitol this session. This includes our own Greater Lafayette Chamber of Commerce.
Why is the business community standing together on a non-business issue? Because they know the value of public education and its impact on the workforce. They want our public schools to succeed. They want all of our children to graduate and to perform at grade level. They understand how this affects our local economies.
I was discouraged to read in the coverage of the committee hearing that many school board members oppose this much-needed change in how their boards operate. This bill will help to make them more efficient, more transparent, and able to focus on school and student performance.
Some argued the bill unfairly targets school boards, blaming them for Louisiana’s lagging education statistics. Instead of focusing on blame, I hope school boards will join this effort. Not all boards need these changes, some operate very well – they hire the superintendent and leave them to make decisions, run the district, and be accountable if the outcomes don’t meet goals.
Not all school boards operate this well, and because the current structure allows the opportunity for any board to micromanage, it must be changed. If everyone is in charge, no one is in charge. Can you imagine being a superintendent, judged on how your district performs when you aren’t in sole control of running it? Do we want the athletic booster club choosing the football players and then firing the coach when the team doesn’t win?
The legislature needs to pass this bill so our superintendents can be in a better position to help our children learn and be clearly accountable for results.
Acadiana's nightlife guide.
Hopefully he’ll be better prepared today than he was in that Feb. 20 deposition.
They came by the hundreds, arriving from all regions of the state to gather on the steps of our capitol in protest of the Legislature’s long tradition of giving industry the go-ahead to abuse our air, our water and our coastline, all in the name of good economics.
Gov. Bobby Jindal’s recent rhetoric against President Barack Obama has failed to boost his standing among the conservative base.
Louisiana's annual legislative session begins.
The state has hired marksmen to shoot feral hogs from helicopters at two wildlife management areas in south Louisiana.
St. Patty's Day crafts
The former star of Saturday Night Live throws in his 2 cents on the Big Oil lawsuit.
Here's your daily look at late-breaking national and international news, upcoming events and the stories that will be talked about Monday, March 10, 2014:
New menu items ready for the Lenten season
The Cane Fire Film Series screens “MaidenTrip” on Monday, March 10, at the AcA.
Acadiana's nightlife guide.
The vibe of the tribe done modern
The Louisiana Workforce Commission said Friday that initial claims rose to 2,125 from the previous week's total of 1,964. There were 2,887 initial claims during the comparable week in 2013.
The Board of Elementary and Secondary Education has stalled action on a $3.5 billion annual school funding formula due to state lawmakers by March 15.
The New Orleans Saints have yet to make it official as of this writing, but popular wide receiver Lance Moore has reportedly been cut by the team to free up salary-cap space on the roster.
While two medical marijuana bills are slated for the upcoming legislative session, what some Louisianans might not know is that the plant was approved for therapeutic use by state lawmakers in 1991.
The agenda is shaping up to be lighter than in previous years. But Jindal is term-limited, with fewer than two years remaining in office, and he saw his last big initiative — a proposed rewrite of Louisiana tax law — collapse without getting a vote in 2013.
Sharper has been held without bail because of an arrest warrant issued by Louisiana authorities accusing him and another man of raping two women.
Two Lafayette men have been revealed by police as the infamous duo behind a caper that shook our fair city to its core.
She’s the daughter of the legendary Johnny Cash, but she’s been a gifted artist in her own right for three decades, and she’s coming to Lafayette.
The Lafayette Parish School Board has received a second letter of demand related to last year’s insurance debacle, this time from Key Benefit Administrators claiming it’s owed $93,000 from the school system.
Acadiana's nightlife guide.
The Louisiana coastline is vanishing faster than mappers can keep track.
A bill that would have overridden local ordinances prohibiting public and private employers from discriminating against lesbian, gay and transgender people has been pulled within less than a week of being filed.
The panel that selects nominees for a controversial New Orleans area flood control board — a board that is suing more than 90 oil, gas and pipeline companies — is set to discuss legislation affecting its independence.
State prison officials cannot keep secret the seller and manufacturer of the two drugs purchased for executions at the Louisiana State Penitentiary, a federal judge ruled Wednesday.
State lawmakers will not appeal a judge's ruling that it was improper to use $3.7 million from a probation and parole officers' retirement fund to balance the state's operating budget.
Prepare yourselves for sun