LAE Leaders Call BESE's Approval of Questionable Changes to School Policies a Travesty
LAE Leaders Call BESE’s Approval of Questionable Changes to School Policy a Travesty
Changes Remove Mandates Surrounding School Guidance Counselors And Librarians;
Drive School Privatization Efforts by Altering Student Credit Requirements
BATON ROUGE, LA – January 17, 2013 – Louisiana educators express disappointment in the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education’s (BESE) decision to approve questionable changes to school policies set forth in Bulletin 741. The changes remove mandates surrounding school guidance counselors and librarians, and also revise the way students obtain required graduation credits, which promotes school privatization efforts. LAE President Joyce Haynes said these changes stand to harm students and called the move a travesty.
“This will only further diminish school accountability and reduce vital student support services,” she said. “It’s sad to see the majority of the members of our public school system governing body neglect the needs of the system’s infrastructure.”
LAE leaders testified against the radical policy revisions brought forth by State Superintendent of Education John White. White and BESE-member proponents rationalized the changes as offering flexibility to local school districts. LAE leaders and other public education organizations in opposition to the revisions believe the changes will take away much needed dollars from school budgets, ultimately draining funding for vital student support services. Opponent groups called for more scrutiny in the form of further review and debate. Board members Lottie Beebe, Jim Garvey, and Carolyn Hill agreed with that notion, saying there were too many changes to pass in one fell swoop, and asked that the board consider giving the public the opportunity to review and understand the changes before moving forward. These pleas fell upon deaf ears as board members voted by a margin of seven to three to approve the proposal.
“We applaud Ms. Beebe, Ms. Hill, and Mr. Garvey for standing their ground during the heated debate,” said Haynes. “LAE will continue to monitor these changes as they begin to take effect on the policy outlined in Bulletin 741.”
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