With friends like Rep. Valarie Hodges and Rep. Clay Schexnayder, Livingston Parish and Louisiana public school teachers don’t need enemies. By opposing the forecast of the majority of the Revenue Estimating Committee, Hodges and Schexnayder in effect oppose the pay raise that Gov. Edwards wants to give teachers, who have not had a raise in ten years. Having supported Jindal’s voucher plan, which send public dollars to private schools, Schexnayder is no friend of public schools. Now, in a cynical and dishonest political move, Hodges is portraying the forecast as necessitating tax increases, proposing a one-time bonus for teachers rather than a raise. Hodges is an acolyte of the Rev. Gene Mills, head of the Louisiana Family Forum, who is a supporter of private schools. So her opposition to public school teachers’ receiving a much-needed raise is explained. I hope teachers in Hodges’ and Schexnayder’s districts remember their opposition to the pay raise. The News should also publish whether Rep. Sherman Mack is for or against public school teachers receiving a raise. Rep. J. Rogers Pope supports the teachers, as a former Livingston Parish School Superintendent should. But his support raises this question: why is Pope still a Republican?

Why has Livingston Parish Public Schools stopped the good practice of giving public notice of personnel lists and changes? The last Livingston Parish School Board Personnel List(s) Online Publication was on Sept. 6, 2018.

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(1) comment


I have no problem with teachers getting a raise. IF the funds are available. The revenue forecast is just that....an educated guess forecast. If the funds actually materialize then they should be used, in part, for teacher pay raises. If they don't the prudence is the better part of valor and the right thing was done. That being said, if the legislature finds that the funds are not there because some of them cut backdoor deals to use the funds for other reasons that should be brought out for public consumption and comment.

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