Several lawmakers have ties to Louisiana’s public education system.
By JEREMY ALFORD
As new lawmakers continue their orientation at the State Capitol this week, we bring you the conclusion of our two-part series highlighting legislative relations. Yesterday, we posted a unique review of the freshman crop. It was drafted as a sometimes comical introduction to the policymakers who will come into power over the next four years.
Today’s listing, however, is different. It focuses instead on an issue: education. Gov. Bobby Jindal has made it a top priority of his new administration and recent elections for the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education were among the hottest around. To say education issues — teacher pay, tenure, student scores — are going to be on the radar in the coming months would be a major understatement.
With that in mind, we made as many connections as possible between lawmakers and the public education system. It should help in understanding the arguments these lawmakers present in the near future and potentially shed some light on the votes they eventually take.
So far, there are 27 connections — 20 in the House and seven in the Senate. While as many sources as possible were exhausted, this may not be a complete listing. If you know of a lawmaker from the 2012-2016 term who was left off the list or a position that may have been overlooked, drop us a line here.
Rep. Joe Harrison, R-Napoleonville
A former school board member from Assumption Parish, his wife is also an educator and principal.
Rep. Dee Richard, No Party-Thibodaux
Former Lafourche Parish School Board member
Rep. Steve Carter, R-Baton Rouge
Former LSU employee; assistant athletic director.
Rep. Jim Fannin, D-Jonesboro
Served on the Jackson Parish School Board and was a former teacher
Rep. Jeff Thompson, R-Bossier City
Elected ULM student body president in 1987 and lettered in football; in 1989, he was development director for the campus.
Rep. Ed Price, D-Gonzales
Has 26 years of experience as a member of the Ascension Parish School Board. He previously served as president of the Louisiana School Board Association and chaired the LSBA’s legislative committee.
Rep. Gene Reynolds, D-Dubberly
Has served the public system since 1977 as a teacher and a principal at seven different schools and later through his employment with the Webster Parish School Board.
Rep. Terry Brown, No Party-Colfax
He taught in the Grant and Rapides parish school systems.
Rep. Patricia H. Smith, D-Baton Rouge
A former school board member in Baton Rouge and a former teacher.
Rep. Frank Hoffmann, R-West Monroe
Served as teacher, principal, personnel director and assistant superintendent of schools over a 41-year span in the Ouachita Parish School System.
Rep. James K. Armes, D-Leesville
Former member of the Vernon Parish School Board and former school bus driver.
Rep. Dorothy Sue Hill, D-Dry Creek
Has taught Home Economics at two high schools in her district for her entire adult life.
Rep. Henry Burns, R-Haughton
Former member of the Bossier Parish School Board.
Rep. Tim Burns, R-Mandeville
Instructor at Southeastern Louisiana University
Rep. Austin Badon, D-New Orleans
Workforce coordinator at Southern University in New Orleans; formerly employed by Nunez Community College.
Rep. Robert Billiot, D-Waggaman
Rep. Cameron Henry, R-New Orleans
Served one year as an appointed member of the Jefferson Parish School Board.
Rep. J. Rogers Pope, R-Denham Springs
Served 14 years as the superintendent of Livingston parish schools. Former teacher, coach, assistant principal and principal.
Rep. Hebert Dixon, D-Alexandria
Former member of the Rapides Parish School Board; one-time union representative for Louisiana Federation of Teachers; former teacher.
Rep. Regina Ashford Barrow, D-Baton Rouge
Certified national abstinence teacher.
Sen. Mack “Bodi” White, R-Denham Springs
Legislatively created the Central Community School District.
Sen. John Alario, R-Weswego
Former school teacher and education administrator.
Sen. Richard Gallot, D-Ruston
Former adjunct professor at Grambling State University.
Sen. Gerald Long, R-Winnfield
A football standout at Northwestern State who completed his education degree in 1966.
Sen. Ben Nevers, D-Bogalusa
Former member of the Bogalusa City School Board; previous chairman of the Senate Education Committee and the Postsecondary Education Review Commission.
Sen. Francis Thompson, D-Delhi
Former Richland Parish School Board member; former assistant professor at University of Louisiana at Monroe.
Sen. Page Cortez, R-Lafayette
Former teacher and coach.