(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.
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Louisiana agriculture officials say prices for long-grain rice are projected to drop this year.
First-time claims for unemployment insurance in Louisiana for the week ending July 19 decreased from the previous week's total.
A judge is getting ready to set a new trial date for a former BP executive charged with obstructing a congressional investigation into the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill.
The sponsor of a Louisiana law that requires doctors that perform abortions to have hospital admitting privileges doesn't believe the provision is in jeopardy after a federal appeals court struck down a similar Mississippi law.
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Midsouth Bank has released its second quarter earnings report, showing a year-over-year increase for shareholders.
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Louisiana's state school board is holding a special meeting to consider whether to sue Gov. Bobby Jindal in an ongoing dispute over the Common Core education standards.
A bipartisan congressional deal to help improve veterans' health care access includes approval for new veterans clinics in Lafayette and Lake Charles.
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The Democratic incumbent, seeking her fourth term in office, is a strong supporter of the Export-Import Bank, which helps finance exports of U.S. companies.
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Louisiana has joined nine other states in support of Indiana’s appeal of a federal judge’s ruling that the Hoosier State’s ban on sam-sex marriage violates the Constitution.
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