VOTER’S GUIDE, 2018 FALL ELECTION, BATON ROUGE
1. Please list in priority order the top three issues most important to you as a potential school board member.
1. We must protect the local democratic control of our public schools in order to protect the premise of public education.
We as a community have the responsibility to provide all children regardless of race, socioeconomic background, or ability with a quality education. That education should be free, appropriate to a child’s needs, and allow a child to fulfill his or her potential.
In order to fulfill our responsibility to provide all children regardless of race, socioeconomic background, or ability with a quality education, we must be able to elect meaningful representation to a local board that oversees a unified public school system. Our ability to do so has been significantly eroded if not essentially eliminated by laws and policies enacted at the state level. We must protect our public schools from the harmful effects of these laws while we simultaneously advocate for the repeal or amendment of the laws in question.
2. Advocate for local control of tax dollars.
The Louisiana state charter school law has effectively eliminated local taxpayers’ oversight of tax dollars. This lack of oversight allows charter schools to siphon our tax dollars out of our community so the funds are diverted to national and multinational corporations rather than invested in facilities and resources that will benefit future generations in our community. In order to fully address this erosion of local control, there must be changes at the state level. At the local level, we must oppose attempts to further divert our tax dollars to national and multinational companies and advocate for changes to our Planning and Zoning policies.
3. Protect the Teaching Profession
We must protect the teaching profession!
The privatization movement devalues teaching as a profession. High-stakes standardized tests, mandated curriculums, burdensome reporting requirements, unfunded mandates redirecting funds from essential resources, and low pay are undermining the profession and our students suffer as a result.
In addition to deferring to teachers’ judgement as experts in their field, we must provide teachers with better pay and a secure retirement. Charter schools are not required to hire certified teachers, adhere to a salary schedule, or participate in the retirement system. These policies are destabilizing the professional status and the financial security of all teachers. Our unified public school system offers the best protection for the teaching profession, and that is in the best interest of our students.