Local educators upset with speed of edu. reform

Teachers Speak Out About Reform

LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) - Louisiana educators are passionate about their jobs and educating their students, but do not favor the speed at which the Governor's education reform bills passed through the legislative session.

Teachers say the reform was rushed and that lawmakers should have spent more time debating the big issues presented in the bills, such as teacher tenure, the voucher program and the way teachers would be evaluated.

"We want reform, but we want responsible reform. We want reform that's going to make a difference," Calcasieu Parish Teacher Monica Welch said.

And some teachers think the Jindal Administration is implying that just because most teachers are against the reform, teachers are against the students. But Shelly Ellender, teacher at S.P Arnette Middle School in Calcasieu Parish said this isn't true.

"Just because we don't support these specific bills, doesn't mean that we don't want some reform. We want reform that's going to help as many children as possible," Ellender said.

Barbe High School teacher Jason Vanmetre said education in Louisiana has been improving for several years now. "And we feel like we're doing a very good job and we're being painted in a very poor light."

Vanmetre also has a child in the public school system and said the way teachers were treated during the whole process of passing the reform bills, he feels disrespected.

"I'm insulted when I hear that because I know that it's my child that's going to suffer," he said.

To see more reaction from Calcasieu Parish teachers about the education reform passing through the legislative session, check out the attached video.

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