LFT: Schools can’t afford Amendment 8

Glyn Meranto
October 23, 2006
Larose man convicted on drug charges
November 1, 2006

Dear Editor,

Amendment 8 on the Nov. 7 ballot is a bad idea that should be defeated.

Diverting scarce education funds to pay for a new school board, a new superintendent and a whole flock of new bureaucrats is bad policy. Louisiana can barely sustain the school districts currently operating, much less add to the number of systems.

If the amendment passes, the town of Central in East Baton Rouge Parish will secede from the local school district and create its own system. With just four schools and about 2,500 students, it will be one of the smallest school districts in the state.

Because of the complicated formula Louisiana uses to distribute school funds, every other school system in Louisiana will lose money so that Central can have its own school district.

If Central is allowed to establish its own school system, the biggest monetary drain will be caused by establishing a new school bureaucracy.

State law allows school boards to pay members up to $800 per month, and the average salary for a superintendent of schools in Louisiana is $103,274. In addition, the new district would require central office administrators and supervisors who generally earn more than classroom teachers.

Every dollar that goes into the pockets of board members, superintendents and supervisors is a dollar that is not spent on classroom instruction. That is why we believe a separate school system for Central is a luxury that Louisiana just can’t afford.

Steve Monaghan

President, Louisiana Federation of Teachers