Louisianians are ready for some fundamental changes in their state’s school systems, as reported in a recent poll from LSU. Fifty-two percent of those who responded to the poll said they were in favor of “fundamental” changes, while another 34 percent said they wanted the school system to be “completely rebuilt.” While it is obvious that these people want to see some changes, many do not know what form that change should take.
According to the poll, many Louisianians (58 percent) are in favor of paying teachers based on their performance in the classroom, instead of based on the number of years they have been teaching (32 percent). I think this change would a great idea and should be implemented across the nation, but many teachers unions tend to disagree on this touchy subject.
Another area that received much attention in LSU’s poll of more than 700 residents was charter schools. Seventy percent of the residents said they were in favor of opening new charter schools in the state. Many were also in favor of expanding existing charter schools as well. Louisianians want to allow charter school operators who have been successful in the past to open new schools; currently, this ability is reserved for the local and state school districts only.
One other area of improvement that the citizens of Louisiana seem united on is giving more students access to pre-kindergarten programs. In fact, 77 percent of those people who were polled said they were in favor of allocating “funding so that all 4-year olds can attend a high quality pre-kindergarten program if their parents want them to.”
There were a few topics that voters were divided on. One of these was whether students who are currently attending failing schools should be given tuition money in order to pay for them to attend private schools. The vote was split down the middle, with 48 percent of the population in favor of this idea and 48 percent opposed to it.
Considering this new information, it will be very interesting to see which – if any – Louisiana school districts make in the new future.