Aug 17, 2010 5:07 PM by Melissa Canone

13 School Board Candidates' Responses to Issues in the Races-Question 3

During the 2010 legislative session, Governor Jindal cut state funding for salary supplements for nationally certified teachers, counselors, psychologists, social workers, speech/language pathologists, and audiologists working in public schools. Jindal said local school districts can handle those costs. What is your position on pay from local funds for all (or any) who were previously paid by state funds for receiving National Board certification?

Lafayette Parish School Board
District 1

Mark Allen Babineaux running unopposed
(No response offered.)

Lafayette Parish School Board
District 2

Greg Davis
The state should continue to honor its commitment to supplement the nationally certified professionals. LPSS should not be expected to fulfill an unfunded state mandate, especially when there are substantial budgetary constraints at the local level.

Tommy Angelle
Such moves by the Governor or state legislature are unfunded mandates, whether funding is initially provided and subsequently withheld or never funded by the state. These broken promises force the School Board to come up with funding for programs instituted by the state without local vote or input. Incentives are created so individuals will spend personal time and money to attain national certification to make them more effective. Without continued funding, future attempts to upgrade the quality of professionals who work very closely with our students will not be taken seriously by them. I would track legislation impacting this school district while the legislature is in session and make my feelings known to our legislative delegation.

Lafayette Parish School Board
District 3

Shelton J. Cobb is running unopposed
(No response offered.)

Lafayette Parish School Board
District 4

Tehmi Chassion
My understanding is that local school districts were supposed to handle these costs in the first place. The state has been "footing" the bill and recently decided to place responsibility back where it belonged. Nonetheless, as a child, I was taught no one can ever take away my education. If you strive for the best you will be rewarded with personal satisfaction and life opportunities. Teachers who achieve national certification should be rewarded for bettering themselves, which hopefully correlates to better performances in the classroom. Budgetary reviews should take place to determine the feasibility of local funding. However, a great teacher is a great teacher, with or without national certification, so whatever it takes to help the children I am all for it.

Gwen Harris
I applaud the Lafayette Parish School Board System for financially supporting their employees who supply services to our school community. This is an example of the state shifting financial responsibility for state mandated programs to the local educational agency.

Lafayette Parish School Board
District 5

Junius "June" Andres
Local Funds if available should be used to supplement National certified, teachers, counselors, psychologist, social workers, speech/language pathologist, and audiologists working in the public school system.

Kermit Bouillion
I would strongly petition our state legislators and our Governor to honor their previous commitments to these deserving professionals who have demonstrated exceptional competence in their fields. I would certainly meet with these employees in an effort to probe opportunities to fulfill those promises that have been made to them. The only way we can draw and keep the best in the field of education is to support them through fulfilling our commitments.

Dean Landry
Let's keep in mind that our primary goal is to raise student achievement. To do that, we need the most effective teachers in our schools. The more effort a teacher puts into developing his or her skills, through programs such as NBC, the more effective and valuable that teacher will be. With a recent study by economists putting the value of an effective kindergarten teacher at $320K, a $5K supplement per teacher is a bargain. My calculations show the supplements would cost around 1/10 of 1 percent of our budget. It's important to point out that the 1999 law initially required local districts to pay the supplements, but they were relieved of the cost until now. Also of note: there is $1.1B in undesignated funds which districts may use for teacher incentives.

Lafayette Parish School Board
District 6

Greg Awbrey
When the state gives teachers a pay increase, that makes it a state law. Local school districts are required to fulfill the mandate. All the funding from the state other than grant funding (MFP funding) is dependent on mandates we get from the state. When Governor Jindal took away the financial support for this state mandated raise, he also took away the reimbursement we received for providing transportation to private schools, but the board is not allowed to withdraw the transportation for students going to private school either. There are other mandates such as computers for state mandated testing that the state has chosen not to financially support once adopting. It all has the same effect on our local budget. The money must come out of the general fund.

Dudley E. LaBauve, III
It would be a slap in the face to the teachers that received National Board Certification if supplements were to be cut by the local system, but, unless we watch our pennies and get creative, the system may have to cut funding for that pay because of federal and state revenue cuts and potentially bloated facilities projects. We have to work within our means and plan a little farther ahead. We have to focus intensely on things that improve student performance. We have to consider more variables when addressing these issues, so we can continue to reward effective teachers. A highly educated community will be a financially successful community, and then the budget won't be so difficult to deal with.

Lafayette Parish School Board
District 7

Mark Cockerham
I have always felt that the Lafayette Parish School Board should always provide sufficient pay to all of those professionals and certainly all teachers who are nationally certified.

Thomas Brown
My position on pay from local funds for all who received National Board certification is very clear. The supplements were dangled in front of those teachers, counselors, etc for them to go back to school to become National Board Certified. It would be wrong to take any money from them or renege on a promise. There has been a down shift in funds, no future program like this should be financed; however, we should continue to keep our promise and fully fund these individuals until retirement.

Lafayette Parish School Board
District 8

Hunter Beasley
I feel that the school system should provide salary supplements for those professionals, including nationally certified teachers, who were previously funded by the state.

Arlecia Hill
The state of Louisiana has suffered several economic and ecological hits in the last few years. This has forced a shift in priorities. With Louisiana's student achievement historically under a negative light, a nationally respected program needs the proper acknowledgement. According to Louisiana's Department of Education website, the state has provided funds for National Board Certified (NBC) educators since 1998. For the educator, the National Board Certification process is humbling. It takes courage to examine and refine your practice voluntarily. Local districts may not have the capability to support their percentage of prestige. I believe this type of achievement belongs in the hands, or in this case, the budget of Louisiana.

Lafayette Parish School Board
District 9

Rae B. Trahan is running unopposed
(No response offered.)



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