Statement from State Rep. Kevin Pearson, R-Slidell:
"It saddens me to think that the children of Louisiana whose parents chose to remove them from potentially failing schools might now be
required to send them back to those institutions. The Constitution of Louisi
ana is 40 years old, and there are many areas in which former legislators seemed to go overboard in protecting areas of funding without
any measure of accountability. I trust Judge Kelly could not get around certain areas of law and rule in favor of the children seeking better
educational opportunity, and was forced by legal language to rule in the manner he did.
This decision will certainly be appealed, but there is more than one way to fund these scholarships. This is a brief setback to those hoping
to improve from Louisiana's current 48th ranking among the states, yet an encouragement to those who support a status quo. Fortunately,
there are many in the Legislature who remain unwilling to accept our current standing and who are determined to make Louisiana a state
of opportunity for our children."
Dear Rep. Pearson,
We are deeply disturbed by your comments regarding Judge Kelley’s ruling on the funding of the Voucher Program. You seem to have
perfected the Progressive tactics of using the “poor and underserved” to get taxpayer money diverted to special interest groups, along
with calling the constitution “outdated”. We believe the current president would be proud of you. As Conservatives, we are not.
The Voucher Program is nothing more than a redistribution scheme and a move for government takeover of private schools. We all know
that wherever government money goes, government mandates follow.
Your cries for “accountability” are nothing more than a play for even more government dollars. What taxpayers want is true accountability.
What we want to know is how you and all the so called “Conservative Republicans” who currently control the Louisiana Legislature can
look at yourselves in the mirror, when the size of our state budget continues to grow under your watch. While the Secretary of the
Department of Education is paid over $275,000 per year, tell us how you can allow the following salaries to be paid to his executive staff,
as reported by the Advocate:
White’s executive staff, their title and salary consists of:
• Erin Bendily, assistant superintendent for policy and external affairs, $140,005 per year.
• Ken Bradford, assistant superintendent for content, $110,000.
• Hannah Dietsch, assistant superintendent overseeing teacher evaluations and other areas, $130,000.
• Patrick Dobard, RSD superintendent, $225,000.
• Warren Drake, network leader, $160,000 per year.
• Joan E. Hunt, executive counsel, $125,000.
• Gary Jones, policy liaison with local superintendents, $145,000.
• Kerry Laster, network leader, $155,000.
• Dave Lefkowith, assistant superintendent overseeing vouchers, charter schools and other areas. $145,000.
• Stephen Osborn, assistant superintendent for student programs, $125,000.
• Mike Rounds, deputy superintendent for district support, $170,000.
• Beth Scioneaux, deputy superintendent of finance, $132,830.
• Gayle Sloan, network leader, $160,000.
• Melissa Stilley, network leader, $135,000.
• Francis Touchet, network leader, $130,000.
Without your system of “accountability”, the Department of Education would not need so many high paying executives, would it?
Now, you are eyeing up other sources of funding for your Voucher Program. What a slap in the face of those who work hard to pay the
tuition to send their children to private schools. They have to pay the taxes to send other children to public school, plus they choose to
make the sacrifices necessary to pay private school tuition. Now, you will increase taxes on them so that they can sacrifice even more for
someone else’s children?
Enough with the plays on words and the creation of “crises”, like “failing schools”, that always result in more tax dollars being funneled to
special interest groups with less representation of regular citizens in government. Only a fool would believe that testing children is an
accurate way to gauge the performance of anyone, only a corporation seeking a contract would promote such an idea and only a politician
in receipt of a donation would make such idiocy a law.
We want true accountability, Rep. Pearson, so let’s start with you.
Karen & Angela
The People, LLC
|Our Open Letter to State Representative Pearson, who made the following statement regarding the
recent ruling on the funding of the Voucher Program: