Thursday, May 1, 2014

Update on HB 703

Great news! House bill 703 was approved by the House of Representatives on Wednesday. The bill will now go over to the Senate where it will be scheduled for a hearing by the Senate Education Committee. HB 703 prevents BESE from approving new charter schools in school districts rated "C" or above over the objections of local school boards. Supporters of 703 believe that educational decisions should be made at the local level, not by a state board dominated by privatization interests.

The Senate Education Committee is expected to be a challenging test for continued approval of HB 703 in the remaining steps of the legislative process. Below is a list of the Senate Education Committee members and their contact information, so that supporters of public education can contact them and ask them to support HB 703.

Senator Conrad Appel, email:,
District office phone: 866-946-3133
Capitol Phone 225-342-2040
Legislative Assistant: Patsy Green

Senator Eric LaFleur, email:
District office phone: 337-363-5019
Capitol Phone: 225-342-2040
Legislative assistant: Deborah Lawson

Senator Dan Claitor, email:
District office phone: 225-765-0206
Capitol phone: 225-342-2040
Legislative assistant: Sharon Hattier

Senator Jack Donahue, email:
District office phone: 985-727-7949
Capitol phone: 225-342-2040
Legislative assistant: Michelle Pichon

Senator Elbert Guillory, email:
District office phone: 337-943-2457
Capitol phone: 225-342-2040
Legislative assistant: Tammy Babineaux

Senator Mike Walsworth, email:
District office phone: 318-340-6453
Capitol phone: 225-342-2040
Legislative assistant: Angela Robert

Senator Mack “Bodi” White, email:
District office phone: 225-272-1324
Capitol phone: 225-342-2040
Legislative assistant: Stacie Butler

I want to thank and complement all the educators and citizens who asked their House members to vote "yes" for 703. The bill would not have passed without your help.


Kathleen Schott Espinoza said...

Perhaps in language the Senate Ed. Committee can understand: 703 enforces Act 1 by giving Superintendents more authority to administer public education. In Lafayette, for example, Dr. Cooper has recently indicated he doesn't want any more charters now. What if BESE disagrees?

Michael Deshotels said...

Good point Kathleen. Dr Cooper opened up Pandora's Box when he went against his board and supported the predatory charters for Lafayette. Without HB 703, he can't stop BESE from approving more charters even if he wants to. BESE does not support local operation of schools. Their allegence is only to the privatization interests that put them in office. And that particularly includes Holly Boffy who is supposed to represent Lafayette Parish.