Oct. 14, 2014 08:56 PM

"Based on her last Op Ed, Kathleen Espinoza would like for you to believe that the Chamber of Commerce and LaPESC want to rob the LPSS of funding and funnel money out of our state. Never once in her piece did she explain why charter schools exist in Lafayette Parish."

[Editor's Note: This letter to the editor from Stafford Barnett was submitted Oct. 2 to The Daily Advertiser. After the letter appeared in Monday's paper, it was resubmitted Tuesday by Barnett for publication here at TheIND.com.]

Based on her last Op Ed, Kathleen Espinoza would like for you to believe that the Chamber of Commerce and LaPESC want to rob the LPSS of funding and funnel money out of our state. Never once in her piece did she explain why charter schools exist in Lafayette Parish.

The average age of our schools is 47 years. Some schools have experienced three generations of family graduating from the same facilities. Why do charter schools exist? Because of do-nothing school boards backed by a faction of teachers called the Lafayette Parish Association of Educators. This group is an extremely vocal minority that truly doesn't represent the majority of hard-working, dedicated, and child focused educators.

The LPAE likes to use "for-profit" as if it is bad. The school system buys millions of dollars in supplies, curriculum, and services from "for-profit" entities. Our roads, schools, and public buildings are made by "for-profit" entities. Our wars are fought with military support that comes from the support of "for-profit" entities. Public money is spent by "for-profit" entities because we live in America.

We know how to define performance based requirements and ensure companies motivated by profit incentives perform. If the boards of the past hadn't been under the thumb of LPAE influence and hadn't squandered our opportunities, charters would NEVER be here. Period.

These boards fiddled while our parish exploded in population. While two charters opened this year and accepted students, our student population in public schools still grew by 1,400 pupils. Boards of past allowed us to fall to 64th out of 69 state parishes in the dollars per pupil. The recent decision by the LPAE, whose president is Rodolfo Espinoza, Mrs. Espinoza's husband, to endorse Tehmi Chassion, Hunter Beasley, and Kathleen Espinoza shows that this faction doesn't want the LPSS to move forward. Mrs. Espinoza has aligned herself with the consistent failures that have plagued our parish public school system.

Stafford Barnett

LPAE's candidates for school board are:

District 1: Redell Comeaux Miller
District 2: Tommy Angelle
District 3: Elroy Broussard
District 4: Tehmi Chassion
District 5: Britt Latiolais
District 6: Kathleen Schott Espinoza
District 7: Dawn Morris
District 8: Hunter Beasley
District 9: Brian West

The Chamber's Empower PAC (more to come in the lead-up to Nov. 4) candidates:

District 1: Unannounced
District 2: Unannounced
District 3: Shelton Cobb
District 4: Unannounced
District 5: Kermit Bouillion
District 6: Justin Centanni
District 7: Mark Cockerham
District 8: Erick Knezek
District 9: Jeremy Hidalgo

 

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