April 14th, 2012
HuffingtonPost.comBy John Celock
Two teachers have launched a recall drive to oust Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal ® and state House Speaker Chuck Kleckley (R-Lake Charles) from office.
Angie Bonvillain and Brenda Romero, teachers in Calcasieu Parish, have launched recalls for both over the education reform policies recently passed by the legislature. The policies include relaxing teacher tenure rules, increased power for school administrators to fire teachers, tying test scores to teacher performance and the promotion of school vouchers, along with the creation of new charter schools.
“This is not education reform,” Bonvillain said. “It will gut public schools in a lot of ways. We do not feel like this will help education.”
Bonvillain and Romero said that Jindal’s policies, which were enacted in recent weeks by legislators, convinced them there is a need to change the state’s leadership. The move comes less than a year after Jindal was reelected to a second term by 49 points over a little known Democratic opponent, teacher Tara Hollis.
The two said the policies pushed by Jindal will be destructive to public schools, moving money toward private schools and relying on test scores to gauge teacher performance. Romero noted that the group also is looking at Jindal’s plans for the state’s retirement system and his efforts to privatize state prisons to galvanize support.
“He waited until he was elected for a second term and then unleashed this entire change of the education system. Now he is going after the retirement system,” Romero told HuffPost. “This is all very fascist to me.”
Romero suggested that Jindal is not working alone, saying that she believes the American Legislative Exchange Council is behind Jindal’s efforts.