Largely due to an April 1 story published in The Advocate, the Council for a
Better Louisiana’s Barry Erwin today responded to comments made by Board of
Elementary and Secondary Education President Keith Guice concerning the
debate over school board reform in the state. CABL has been actively involved in legislation authored by state Rep. Steve Carter of Baton Rouge, much of
which is based on State Superintendent of Education Paul Pastorek’s
plan for overhauling Louisiana's education system.
Erwin opens his response saying he welcomes public debate and engagement in an issue that so profoundly affects the future of Louisiana's children and proceeds to challenge Guice's position:
Referring to our efforts at eliminating micromanagement of school systems by clearly defining the roles of the school board and superintendent, Mr. Guice took issue with the idea of directing board members away from personnel issues and toward policy management. Mr. Guice said in the story, “It places too much authority in one person when it comes to the dismissal of employees without anyone having an opportunity to review what is being done. Some checks and balances need to be placed in that legislation that are not there.” ...
As President of BESE, Mr. Guice is familiar with how a board is intended to work — BESE members spend their time looking at ways to improve the state’s education system and enacting policy to reach that goal. Would that be possible if its weekly meetings were taken up by personnel issues? Could you imagine if BESE had to decide on the hiring, firing, promoting or disciplining of state employees at the Department of Education? That is Superintendent Paul Pastorek’s job. And that is also the job of local superintendents with their district personnel. ...
And on the matter of re-election, Mr. Guice also opposes the idea of term limits for board members. We are including term limits in our legislation for the same reason that the governor, the Legislature and most state boards and commissions all operate with term limits — to bring new blood and fresh ideas into the discussion and prohibit political dynasties. If 12 years isn’t enough time for school board members to accomplish the educational improvement goals they set for themselves and their districts then it’s probably time for them to move on anyway.
Mr. Guice also said he is against our proposal to address board members’ compensation, what he calls a pay cut. The truth is, it’s not a pay cut, it’s a return to what the state constitution clearly states, that board members “shall serve without pay,” but may receive a per diem and reimbursement for their expenses. ...
Finally, we believe health care benefits are another negative incentive that could invite people to serve for the wrong reason — and that is any reason other than wanting to improve education. The state has already done away with retirement benefits for part time elected officials, we are simply saying be thorough and let’s finish the job.
Read the full text of Erwin's response here.
School board members Mark Babineaux, Hunter Beasley and Tehmi Chassion can vote to fire Cooper — because we all know that’s exactly what they’ll do.
District 2 school board candidate Simon Mahan is hoping to unseat first-term incumbent and former Carencro Mayor Tommy Angelle in the Nov. 4 election.
District Attorney Mike Harson is showing his desperation by falsely attributing quotes to his opponent and blocking journalists from his social media.
Three bedroom Acadian or a two bedroom town home
Ready to geaux in purple and gold
The governor is traveling the country laying the groundwork for a possible 2016 presidential campaign, but his approval ratings at home hover well below 50 percent.
State District Judge Bob Downing extended the order and delayed a planned Wednesday hearing about a permanent injunction while negotiations continue between Attorney General Buddy Caldwell and the waste disposal site operator.
New Louisiana higher education commissioner Joseph Rallo will be paid more than his predecessor.
The recently established Downtown Lafayette Restaurant & Bar Association will host a special viewing of the upcoming New Orleans Saints taking on the Carolina Panthers in the open air of Parc Sans Souci on Thursday, Oct. 30.
Belief in a national outbreak of the Ebola zombie virus is becoming more of a threat every day, and The Hayride — Louisiana’s one true bastion for unrelentingly conservative political commentaries — thought it wise to share a certain special someone's “important message” with readers Tuesday on what to do when, not if, it comes.
Acadiana's nightlife guide.
Elijah McGuire and Alonzo Harris each had four rushing touchdowns, and Louisiana-Lafayette rolled to 419 yards on the ground in a 55-40 victory over Arkansas State on Tuesday night.
Bill and Hillary Clinton are the validators-in-chief for Democrats struggling through a bleak campaign season in states where President Barack Obama is deeply unpopular.
JPMorgan Chase is giving $1 million to Louisiana's community and technical colleges, to help with workforce training efforts to match students to available jobs.
President Barack Obama is turning to black radio listeners to plead for midterm votes, a targeted approach to drum up Democratic support at a time when many candidates don't want him around in person.
WaPo Watergate editor Ben Bradlee dies; Clintons stump for Dems; Liberians stranded and more national and international news for Wednesday, October 22, 2014.
Wednesday's Blogs from the Bog!
Law firm unveils newly renovated 200-year-old building.
UL grad named web developer at BBR Creative
Lafayette-based emergency department staffing and management company raises $120 million in senior credit facilities through GE Capital, Healthcare Financial Services.
High-rise apartment building, parking garage, hotel and retail part of new development.
A common thread runs through many of those we oppose: Enshrining in the Constitution protections on programs and their funding sources has had a disastrous effect on Louisiana’s most important economic development engine.
"I am extremely disheartened by the political machines that are attempting to hijack my efforts along with others that advocate for children."
Landrieu, who is fighting to keep her seat for a fourth term, said that Ebola is serious and precautions should be taken, but she accused Republicans of using the virus outbreak in West Africa to "create fear" here at home.
The number of Louisianans with jobs continued to set records in September, but the state's unemployment rate kept rising.
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Acadiana's nightlife guide.
Louisiana is drowning, quickly.
Law enforcement agencies are participating in a "Louisiana Heroin Summit," designed to address the recent rise in heroin use and drug-related deaths around the state.