Mar 15, 2011 3:19 PM by Jenise Fernandez
Superintendents and school board members from Acadia, Evangeline, Iberia, Lafayette, St. Martin, St. Landry, and Vermillion met with legislators today to voice their frustrations with the lack of public education funding.
It's the first time superintendents and school board members from seven parishes met under one roof. All of them forming a united front for funding.
"This gives us an opportunity to voice our concerns,"said superintendent of Acadia Parish Johnny Borque.
"If we have this conversation with our legislators they too will be aware of our constraints," said superintendent of Lafayette Parish Burnell Lemoine
Scott Richard-- instructional supervisor of Lafayette Parish School Board-- says they haven't received all the federal funding promised.
"It was suppose to flow through the federal level to local schools and somewhere in between baton rouge it got re-routed," he said.
"It really impacts classroom instruction. We're having to increase student teacher ratio, reduce staff, and phase out programs that are very beneficial to students,"he also added.
Like after-school tutoring and remedial programs-- all are examples of programs being phased out.
"We ran out of funding and can't fund it anymore,"said Mark Babineaux, President of the School Board.
School board members and superintendents also expressed the need to create a moratorium against labeling schools with letter grades.
"We feel there's a better way to improve instead of presenting schools, districts, students, teachers, parents, and communities in a negative posture,"said Richard.
Legislators listened to their concerns. John Perry of District 26 says holding meetings like this helps legislators understand what is needed.
"We need to know about the frustrations. We need to know what we can do to put more control in the local level,"said Perry.
"We need to give the teaching time back to the teachers and we need to fund schools in a way that makes them functional,"said Babineaux.