Question 1 - Drop Out Rate

What plans do you have keep our high school students from becoming drop outs and staying in school?

B. Alexandrenko
The high school drop out rate in Louisiana will be reduced by re-energizing schools with creative first class teachers, expansion of curriculum with work force development skills curriculum, and parental enforcement of completing high school.

Walter J. Boasso

Foster Campbell
Louisiana must lower the dropout rate to afford students a better future and to provide a well-educated workforce for a strong economy. Students must be better prepared in the early grades, beginning in pre-kindergarten, and be provided the tutoring and remediation necessary to advance. I will create a major new tutorial program for the early grades, using schools after current school hours and in the summer, to boost children's chances of success. It will involve paying teachers and other staff for the additional work, and I am prepared to do that.

Secondly, we must make school more relevant to students. The high-school redesign effort under way at the Louisiana Department of Education shows promise in aligning curricula to reflect the needs of those who want a college degree and those who desire other work skills that match job opportunities. That means financing career pathways from high school to colleges and universities. We need to improve transition programs from middle school to high school and increase counseling.

Vincent Mark Castillo

Sheldon Forest
Most dropouts are using drugs. I will declare war on drugs. As we begin to win one the other will follow.

Anthony "Tony G" Gentile
I will push to institute vocational training for all young men and young women that are not making the grade in high school. Give them an option that they can work out with their parents. These people can be productive by learning a s skill while working on the basics needed in life to make a living. This accomplishes two important key components. Keeps kids in school while learning a trade to become responsible contributing adults in their communities. Also giving Louisiana a crop of skilled workers every year to meet the demand.

John Georges
Schools must identify at-risk students and provide opportunities for them to receive counseling, become involved in extracurricular activities, or receive personal tutoring. Students who need extra time to complete high school should be in classes with similar students, possibly at night or through distance learning. A low drop-out rate will reduce Louisiana's unemployment, juvenile delinquency, and government assistance rates.

T. Lee Horne III
"Bobby" Jindal

M.V. "Vinny" Mendoza
First of all, I will pass legislation that gives 20 years to life to anyone that buys and/or sells drugs in school property (public and private schools).

Second, I will extend school hours from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Monday through Friday and half day Saturday. The new schedule would be for Pre-K to the 12th grade in High School. The problem with high school drop outs starts an early age, and we must tackle the root of the problem to prevent it from happening later on. These students will receive ½ day of academic curriculum and ½ of vocational and technical training from Pre-K to the 12th grade. On Saturdays, the students go to field trips, practice sports or the arts or remedial tutoring for those that are falling behind. From Pre-K all students would receive total quality management training as it was developed by Dr. Richard Deming and as it was adopted by the Japanese educational system. All children learn team work and quality circles at an early age and by the time they graduate from High School they know team work by heart and become successful at whatever they do in life.

Third, those that do drop out are sent to the Louisiana National Guard Youth Challenge program at Camp Beauregard in Alexandria or to the one in Gonzales. This is a six month military training that teaches discipline, team work and one of the best academic environments in the nation. The cadets attending this training receive the necessary preparation to pass their GED exam. Upon graduation some of the cadets choose to join the military and others receive scholarships to some colleges or are sent to the Louisiana Job Challenge program where they learn a trade. Two of my children have gone to this training and it turned their lives around-I recommend it to every parent.

Arthur D. "Jim" Nichols
I think the state issuer of drivers license could use license to drive as an incentive bonus award to entice students to study hard, pay attention, and behave in class, and make and maintain good grades in order to have the privilege to drive. I mentioned this idea to a State Representative a few years back and he said the insurance companies wouldn't go for it. However, I've noticed some are lowering their premiums to families with teen-age drivers to accomplish the same goal. I was hauling soybeans from Collinston to the silo in Mer Rouge in a 2 ½ ton truck when I was 14 years old. Responsible teenagers are safe drivers; and there is nothing a teenager wants more than a driver's license. This plan would work, it wouldn't cost us a dime, and actually the state will make a little money from the extra sale of license.

Hardy Parkerson
Mary Volentine Smith