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.
A federal jury found attorney Daniel Stanford guilty Friday afternoon on eight of 13 counts for his role in the Curious Goods conspiracy.
Lafayette City-Court Judge Francie Bouillion has served on the bench for two decades since winning a special election to replace Judge Kaliste Saloom when he retired in 1994.
The Houston firm said Friday in its weekly report that 1,575 rigs were exploring for oil and 338 for gas. One was listed as miscellaneous. A year ago there were 1,776 active rigs.
A crew began erecting the 25-foot mini-wheel late morning Friday in anticipation of the evening’s Hottest Night of the Year party at the park.
Frances Boothe of Nunez, who also happens to be filmmaker Stephen Meaux’s grandmother, prepares a cool-weather fave.
The magazine's senior football writer also predicts a break-out year for Saints fourth-year running back Mark Ingram.
New Iberia colonial or Broussard traditional home
The LPSB is poised and ready to move forward with the termination of Pat Cooper following a discussion Thursday with the attorney hired for the investigation of the superintendent, but a decision of this magnitude should be left up to the new board seated in January, especially with three pro-investigation board members bailing out come the new year.
Fiery style for game day
Acadiana's nightlife guide.
Gulf Coast ceremonies marking the ninth anniversary of Hurricane Katrina have begun.
The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries says there is little known about the effects of tiger prawns on indigenous Louisiana shrimp. But, officials say the reports they're seeking will help state biologists monitor the distribution of the prawns and determine the possible presence of spawning populations.
Baltimore Ravens coach John Harbaugh rested his regulars and watched with delight as Ray Rice's backups ground out 214 yards rushing in a 22-13 victory over the New Orleans Saints on Thursday night.
Friday's Blogs from the Bog!
Google vs. Amazon in drone race; more deaths in Syria; Russia escalates Ukraine conflict and more national and international news for Friday, August 29, 2014.
High-profile criminal defense attorney Daniel Stanford awaits his fate in the Curious Goods conspiracy trial.
The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries is set to put the kibosh on the legal ownership of monkeys trained to help the disabled, and the agency wants to know what you think.
A federal judge on Thursday asked lawyers battling over Louisiana's new, restrictive abortion law for an agreement that apparently could let clinics stay open — at least for a while — after the law takes effect Sept. 1.
Three bedroom Port Barre cottage or three bedroom historic district Opelousas home
No laboring for shoppers this holiday
It will be next month before Gov. Bobby Jindal will likely get a chance to change the membership of a South Louisiana flood board that is suing dozens of oil, gas and pipeline companies.
Acadiana's nightlife guide.
An abortion rights organization wants a federal judge to block enforcement of Louisiana's new abortion law while its lawsuit to overturn the law makes its way through court.
Republican presidential prospects Ted Cruz and Bobby Jindal are planning to speak at an Iowa Christian conservative event in September.
The attention surrounding Victor White III has spiked with the release of last week’s autopsy report, which has raised a number of serious questions about the night of his death and has put the Iberia Parish Sheriff’s Office under an increased wave of scrutiny as more national media outlets are jumping on the story, most recently seen on MSNBC's The Rachel Maddow Show.
The Acadiana Center for the Arts and the Lafayette Economic Development Authority have announced a new artist stipend program, ArtSpark, designed to offer financial aid to local artists.
A group supporting taxpayer-funded private school tuition vouchers is appealing a federal judge's order that Louisiana must provide regular reports to federal officials on the state's voucher program.
The Discovery Channel has canceled reality TV star Will Hayden's popular "Sons of Guns" show after his arrest on an aggravated rape charge.
The LPSB will finally hear from the attorney it hired to investigate the superintendent at a special meeting Thursday at 4 p.m.
Three bedroom traditional or two bedroom Victorian cottage