Senator talks reform at recent LaPlace gathering

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, April 4, 2012



LAPLACE – In his final stop on a tour of locations within the large Senate District 2, state Sen. Troy Brown talked education reform, jobs and economy and the fate of the Reserve-Edgard ferry system with residents of St. John the Baptist Parish.

The meeting at the Central Library in LaPlace was the last of four community meetings that went from Baton Rouge to Thibodaux to Vacherie and finally LaPlace in an effort to touch on topics important to residents of the Senate district, which represents portions of eight parishes including parts of all three River Parishes.

“I wanted a chance to get to know some of the people I represent so that I can bring their concerns with me to Baton Rouge,” Brown said. “There are quite a few hot-button issues happening in this session, and I want to make sure residents understand them to the fullest.”

The extensive education reforms proposed by Gov. Bobby Jindal received the most attention during the discussions with constituents. Brown said that it is going to be tough to make all parties involved happy with the final results but added that something has to be done to move the state forward.

“There is a lot on the table here,” he said. “Some legislators are still sorting through quite a bit of it.”

Brown said Jindal’s objectives, which include having effective teachers that are evaluated on student performance, equal opportunity to education and flexibility in spending, are important, but there are questions.

“I want to make sure this reform plan achieves these objectives without creating an unreasonable work environment for teachers,” Brown said.

Brown also emphasized job creation and said he intends to focus on implementing a state high school curriculum that offers more options for students looking outside the traditional four-year college degree. He also wants to see the state do a better job of marketing the River Parishes to the global economy.

“There is a tremendous amount of resources in this region that can benefit the global market,” he said.

Brown also touched on the fate of the Reserve-Edgard ferry, one of two ferries in the state on the chopping block as part of the state’s budget.

“It is a vital crossing in St. John Parish, and I think we all realize that,” Brown said. “There is enough support to keep the ferry right where it is. There is no reason to believe the ferry is going anywhere.”

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