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.
The state labor department figures released Friday show the initial claims decreased to 2,312 from the previous week's total of 2,543. For the comparable week a year earlier, there were 2,627.
In a statement, Michael Ranatza, executive director of the association, said Landrieu's "senior status" and her continued support for the sheriffs throughout her career were deciding factors.
The position puts him at odds with GOP Gov. Bobby Jindal, but could bolster support from the business community as the senator raises money for the 2015 governor's race.
On the cusp of a new school year, with the fallout from The IND’s special report, “What’s the Matter at Fatima,” still settling, the administration at Our Lady of Fatima is reaching out to the school “family” to offer reassurances about the academic and spiritual health of the institution.
The Hayride — Louisiana’s one-stop shop for far-right perspectives — has come to the defense of state Rep. Lenar Whitney following her embarrassing, early-exit interview last week with Cook Political Report analyst David Wasserman.
Bright colors, ecletic prints
The Catholic Diocese of Lafayette says a 1992 investigation cleared the Rev. Gilbert Dutel of pedophilia allegations, yet when asked to produce those records, church officials came up empty-handed.
The former president and longtime board member of the Council on the Development of French in Louisiana has taken a Texas lawmaker to task over his use of the slur “coonass” during a legislative hearing.
Acadiana's nightlife guide.
Hundreds of new laws take effect Friday, with the start of August. A look at some of the changes on the books:
Marques Colston let out a laugh and shrugged his shoulders when the subject of his NFL longevity arose.
The state is accepting public comments on a plan that would invest $1 million in a new Homeowner Rehabilitation Program for low- to moderate-income residents whose homes were damaged after Hurricane Isaac.
A Senate Bill passed Thursday now awaits the president’s signature authorizing long-awaited reforms of the Veterans Affairs Administration, including new clinics for Lafayette and Lake Charles.
The DIY birthday done right
Bump and baby friendly wares
A comprehensive listing of special menu features, pairings and events for the week of Aug. 4-9
Behind the scenes a growing number of parents are saying, ‘We want our school back!’
Is sending a 16-year-old boy to prison with men for up to 99 years really the way to address juvenile crime?
How Lafayette’s family businesses have survived despite the odds
Lafayette is ready to embark on a master plan for growth, but will old habits impede our progress?
Friday's Blogs from the Bog!
The IND's Nick Pittman weighs in on new records from Taylor Verret, Plush Claw, Steven Joubert and Lee Benoit.
The Cajundome rocked in July when the first ever Girls and Guys Rock Louisiana Awards Show hit the place.
Allen & Gooch reunites with Whitney Bank to sponsor the sixth annual event honoring Acadiana’s top companies.
Juicing’s health benefits lead to a proliferation of sellers in the Lafayette market.
‘The Tribe’ reflects on Fred Daspits incalculable contributions to Lafayette’s cultural life.
The recently concluded World Cup is awash in analogies.
Style that shines
Go inside the kitchen with chef Michelle Youngberg
It’s an exciting time in life as you prepare to meet your new bundle of joy — get ready to plan out the next nine months so when your baby arrives, you can stress less and love more.