The reality here is that Louisiana's education system is in a crisis. We are near or at the bottom of nearly every category when it comes to learning in the classroom. And it's certainly not because our teachers or our children are somehow less capable than the rest of the country. To me, it's a matter of prioritizing what's important to our state. I can think of no other issue that has a greater impact on the economic success and quality of life of a community than its education. Our children deserve the opportunity to get the best education in the country.
But, let's be honest, that can't happen over night. It will take time, and a full re-evaluation of the manner in which we support our schools. We need more funding, yes. But more than that, we need to re-distribute the funds we already have to put as much as possible into the classroom. That's why, in the 2005 legislative session, I voted for the Amendment that would have made bringing Louisiana teacher pay to the southern average as the top priority in the education budget. An effort that fell only two votes short in the House. Millions of dollars are spent on our education system that never see the inside of a classroom. As your state Representative, my top priority continues to be to evaluate how our education funds are distributed and work tirelessly to re-direct much of that to the classroom. If we're going to build a top-notch system of education, it must begin there.