The biggest issue facing Baton Rouge schools is that they are failing too many of our children. The average ACT score for our high schoolers has fallen by 7% since my opponent took office. Less than 50% of our elementary school students are reading at grade level. My opponent talks a lot about new, expensive programs he’s helped create, but we have very little in the way of RESULTS to show for all that spending.
Supporting teachers is an important issue. The taxpayers of this state are not currently willing to pay teachers significantly more money. Like it or not, that’s the reality. But that’s not why teachers are leaving in such large numbers. The job is difficult, and bureaucracy and lack of discipline are making the job intolerable for many of our teachers. To better educate our children, we must improve the working conditions of the teachers who are in the classroom trying to teach them.
Across the country, we see a growing movement to sexualize our children and to indoctrinate them with anti-American principles. I will forcefully oppose such efforts. Our schools must focus on academic fundamentals, teaching children how to read and write, how to do arithmetic, how to learn, how to behave, how to treat all people with respect and kindness, regardless of their differences. Our schools are not a place for religious or cultural indoctrination.
Many of the incumbents running for re-election this cycle, including my opponent, are campaigning on a platform of “we’re almost there, our new initiatives are just about to pay off.” My opponent has been here for 11 years, president of the board for 6 of those years. In those years, our ACT scores have gone down and over 75% of our schools remain in “fair” to “poor” condition. It’s time for a change, today. We can’t wait any longer for them to figure it out.