Local attorney “E Eric” Guirard pulled no punches when discussing the first of the five pillars of focus of his campaign for Mayor-President of East Baton Rouge Parish: education. “All of our problems stem from the woeful public-school educational system that hasdeveloped in Baton Rouge for the last 40 years,” Guirard says in his Fuse the Rouge campaign web site. “White flight, crime, labor shortages, traffic – everything can be traced back to education. It mostly directly affects minorities, but ultimately everyone. “Our city public schools, by and large, are producing poorly educated citizens who test well below their grade level. Every public official, even tangentially involved in education, should be ashamed and resign”.
Guirard feels that the current system is so bad that “tinkering around the edges or pouring in more money will not work”. His solution is simple: “FUND IT, DON’T RUN IT”.
His plan would be to take the $8,000 annually invested into each child’s education by the parish and make it available to families to pay for their education at the school of their choosing. This would lead, he believes, into “an explosion of new schools, revamped schools and educational entrepreneurialism never before seen in this country”.
Educational entrepreneurs from every state would clamor to set up shop here,” Guirard said. “And until Fund It, Don’t Run It is implemented, let’s put cameras in every classroom, and let the public see firsthand what our tax dollars are paying for in the way of education.”
Guirard’s other pillars of focus are traffic, crime, business development and community relations/quality of life.