Sometimes, things just add up right. One thing just naturally follows another. A case in point is our endorsement of Representative John Bel Edwards for governor.
Last November, Rep. Edwards accepted the LFT’s highest honor, our Friend of Education Award. He had already earned our Legislator Award in 2009, and has consistently maintained one of the best voting records for public education.
So, our endorsement is as natural as the past eight years have been difficult. Educators have suffered through a botched roll-out of Common Core standards, unfair and inaccurate labeling of teachers and schools, poorly conceived testing regimens, the dilution of tenure and other due-process rights, and the stagnation of education funding.
While most Louisianans support our public schools, some deep-pocketed profiteers have spent millions to create the impression that our teachers and our schools are failing. Their aim has been to vilify educators, raid public school funds, and privatize education.
Our governor, a majority of BESE members, and far too many legislators seem to have turned their backs on public schools. Several times, we were forced to court, challenging the constitutionally of schemes posturing as laws.
Good men and women have fought back to defend educators, our schools, and the children we serve. Otherwise we—and you—would have been completed shut out.
For the past eight years, John Bel Edwards has been steadfast in his support for public education. Even when Gov. Jindal’s ratings were above 60%, John Bel was unafraid to say that the Jindal plan was bad for Louisiana. He has been a voice of reason standing against those who led the state to the brink of disaster.
When the ill-conceived, unconstitutional schemes of 2012, were passed, Rep. Edwards was one of the heroes who actually read the legislation, did his own homework, and stood tall in defense of our constitution, our kids, teachers, and communities. When that session ended, Rep. Edwards was a key witness in our lawsuit against Act 2 and school vouchers.
During eight hard legislative years, he never flinched. He stood his ground, and he has been proven right.
John Bel Edwards is a leader. He is a graduate of West Point and a veteran Army Ranger company commander. He remains happily wed to his high school sweetheart, who is a Tangipahoa Parish public school teacher. John Bel Edwards is an avid sportsman and a pillar of his community. He’s been a warrior for public education, he’s the real deal, and he will make a great governor.
The primary election is on October 24, and the runoff if necessary is on November 21. Please pay attention, get involved, and don’t forget to vote!