Union leader wants to oust Jefferson Parish School Board member

Union leader wants to oust Jefferson Parish School Board member

The head of the teachers' union in Jefferson parish wants to oust one of the school board members in the November 4th election. But the incumbent said that is the last thing the school board needs.

The District 6 race is getting a lot of attention as election day gets closer.

"When we got in there was a $30 million dollar deficit, we now have double digit surpluses," said incumbent Larry Dale about the school district.

He is proud of what he said is the forward movement of the school district under the leadership of the board's majority.

"We have more "A" and "B" student seats than any other district in the state of Louisiana," said Dale.

Those in the majority on the board have enjoyed a lot of support from the business community.

"Certainly business does back us because we've been able to accomplish a great deal with the school system, but I think it's more than just business, I think the community backs us," said Dale.

"They've not been listening to the voices of the individuals who are most involved in a child's education and that's why I am running because they need to have a voice," said Meladie Munch, President of the Jefferson Federation of Teachers.

Munch is Dale's sole challenger and has the support of big labor and others.

"I see that we, the teachers have not been allowed to teach, to actually do what they do best, they're the experts," said Munch.

The teachers' union and some school board members have butted heads in the public in recent years.

"Instead of partnering with everyone who wanted to be a part of the school system they chose not to do that," said Munch.

"I certainly disagree with that. I have been a proponent of higher wages, I talked for their raises that we just gave," said Dale.

Dale said he has great respect for teachers and spoke of his list of priorities should he win re-election.

"Get our financial house even more in order because I think there's some waste that we can cut out still and we've done a good bit, and I want to make our teachers in Jefferson Parish the highest paid teachers in the state," Dale further stated.

"I also want to have things put back in the classroom in elementary schools, like art and music because we know that makes them successful in the classroom with their math, their science, their English," said Munch, who also wants more parent involvement.

Munch said discipline issues remain a big problem in many schools. Dale does not take issue with that.

"Teachers are constantly complaining about that. That needs to be fixed," Munch stated.

"I certainly understand that, in every generation children are different, yes, we do have some discipline problems, but our society has some discipline problems now and I think our children reflect what they see in society," said Dale.

And soon voters in Jefferson Parish will decide between the two of them.

"We can't let the union get back in control of the school system. That is what brought it to the bottom before," said Dale.

"I know I'm going to be successful," said Munch.

Jefferson Parish is the state's largest public school district.

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