Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Please Vote Today!

Today is Election Day. This blog is encouraging each voter to exercise your democratic right to vote for the candidates and issues of your choice.

The Louisiana Educator is particularly encouraging educators and supporters of public education to choose carefully in all local school board elections.

A subcommittee of the Defenders of Public Education several weeks ago sent out a questionnaire to all candidates for school board in the East Baton Rouge Parish and City of Baker public school systems. The reason for this special emphasis is that both of these systems have become targets of a charter school privatization effort. EBR in particular, has been chosen by big business interests as a target for privatization and other reorganization efforts including site based management. All of these efforts end up removing pubic education from the oversight of our elected school boards. Our questionnaire attempted to identify candidates who would oppose such efforts.

Following the return of questionnaires a subcommittee of the Defenders of Public Education has recommended several school board candidates for your consideration if you reside in the EBR or Baker school districts.

Our recommendations are as follows:

EBR- District 1: Mary Lynch, District 2: Vereta Lee, District 4: Tarvald Smith, District 5: Jerry Arbour or W. T. Winfield,
Baker- District 1: Elaine Davis,  District 3: Troy Watson and  District 4: Jerrie Davenport-Williams.

All of the candidates recommended by the Defenders of public education are (1) Opposed to school takeovers by BESE and conversions of our public schools into charters by outside groups. (2) Opposed to allowing charter managers to make a profit from our tax dollars. (3) Believe that charters should not be allowed to refuse to contribute to the teacher and school employee’s retirement systems. (4) Support the continued offering of parent choice through the EBR school system by offering magnet, gifted and specialized programs as opposed to expansion of charters. (5) Support strong authority for teachers and principals to maintain effective discipline in all schools. (6) Support the full implementation of the teacher bill of rights. (7) Opposed to site based management of school finances.