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Low-achieving students ‘put a drain on whole system,’ La. Sen. Gallot says

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Written by Billy Gunn

Source: Alexandria Town Talk





Central Louisiana’s newest state senator told an Alexandria audience Tuesday that much more thought and debate will have to be given to Gov. Bobby Jindal’s plan to improve public elementary and high schools in the legislative session that begins March 12.

State Sen. Rick Gallot, D-Ruston, told Alexandria Rotarians that he’s not quite ready to buy into all of Jindal’s planned revamp of K-12 public schools.

Gallot said he needed and wanted the input of constituents who live in the seven parishes that make up District 29, which was redrawn last year into a minority Senate district.

“I think we can all agree that [public] education can be improved,” Gallot said. “The question is how.”

“It’s going to take all of us finally deciding we’re going to grab this bull by the horns,” Gallot said.

Jindal’s plan would shake up what the governor calls the “status quo” — doing away with teacher tenure granted after three years in the classroom; allowing public dollars to follow some students to private schools through vouchers, or “opportunity scholarships” as proponents term it; and allowing school superintendents and principals, and not school boards, to make more decisions on teachers.

Jindal’s plan to allow students at schools earning C, D or F grades and who are within generous family-income levels to transfer to private schools perhaps needs the most discussion, Gallot said.

A review of public schools last year found 72 percent received grades of C, D or F.

“I don’t think that private schools have the capacity to take 72 percent of public school kids,” Gallot said.

The problem in public schools, he said, are the low-achieving students who “put a drain on the whole system.”

Gallot, 45, won a three-candidate race in the fall for Senate District 29, pulling out a win by a slim margin in the primary. An attorney, he served 12 years as representative for District 11 in Ruston and was term-limited from seeking the seat again.

District 29, which used to be wholly contained in Rapides Parish, now takes in parts of Rapides, Bienville, Grant, Jackson, Lincoln, Natchitoches and Winn parishes, weaving into parts of those parishes that have the most minority residents.

Gallot has been appointed to three Senate committees: Revenue and Fiscal Affairs; Agriculture, Forestry, Aquaculture and Rural Development; and Commerce, Consumer Protection and International Affairs, where he will serve as vice chairman.


Written by demon53

February 1, 2012 at 8:17 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

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