JO JO HAMITER- Bossier Parish School Board District 4

Q. What made you decide to run for BPSB? A. The only reason I decided to for the BPSB was because I was approached by a group of concerned citizens. They felt there needed to be a change. They have faith in me, and I hope that I don’t let them down. I’ve done the best that I can do. Q. Why do you think you’re qualified to serve on the BPSB? A. I have worked out in the public for 30 plus years. I’m a people person. I have served on many committees and I feel like I am qualified to do so. However, this will be a learning process for me. Q. Recently, the BPSB considered a tax increase to cushion against cuts in state funding. Do you support a tax increase, cutting spending, or a combination of the two to help cushion against state funding cuts? A. I think there are some ways they do need to cut spending. They need to be more cautious about their spending and have someone paying closer attention to their spending. I support raising taxes only if it is to better the education of children, or provide better pay for teachers. We can’t make our system better if we don’t have the teachers to do it. Q. What is your position on the recently announced positions of Graduation Coaches, Behavior Coaches, Response for Intervention Coaches? A. I can’t say I’m very familiar with them, so I can’t say it would be a bad thing. I know we did not have that when I grew up. We had more discipline in the schools than they have now, and they didn’t need graduation coaches. That dates me as being very old fashioned, but if we had more discipline, we would not need those sorts of positions. Q. What do you believe is the role of a School Board member? A. To help, and to guide all aspects of the school, not only their financial matters, but hiring personnel. Also to provide guidelines for the schools. Q. What would you do to make the BPSS transfer policy more equitable? A. It depends upon the situation of the child and parents. We have to be more accommodating to working parents. Some parents need help in taking care of the children, therefore they need to have the children in the area where the parent works.

Q. What are your plans to increase openness and transparency? A. There needs to be more openness and transparency. Being the new kid on the block, no one can go in and just be a gang buster. I would have to gain the trust of other board members. They’ve been there a while, they will be more knowledgeable. I’m going to be there to lean on them and learn from them, and I’ll depend upon their knowledge. Q. What are the biggest challenges facing the BPSS? A. There are organization problems which need to be addressed. Q. If elected to the BPSB, what will be your top priority? A. In the particular area that I am in, the parents need to be more involved in the school system. They need to be more informed when major changes are being made to their schools. I heard it again just today, the parents are not being informed about major changes in the schools in our area. Q. Are there areas in the BPSS which you believe could be better served by privatization? A. I am willing to look at any area of the school system to see if that would be an option. Q. What specific measures can be instituted to provide greater protection for BP school children? A. I think the program that they have here in our area is sufficient. I know we have the SRO officers, and that’s a wonderful thing and we don’t need to change that. If it isn’t broken we don’t need to fix it. Q. What specific issues would you like to see with regard to the BPSS budget? A. I will have to look at after I am elected, and I will do so. Q. What is your political party affiliation? A. I’m a Republican. Q. What are your areas of agreement and disagreement with your political party? A. I’m perfectly happy with the party I’m with. I would not be a Republican if I was not happy with it. Q. What is the primary source of funding for your campaign? A. I have been given contributions. And I have contributed a little of my own funds.

Q. Would your current job allow you the time to attend SB meetings? A. Yes, I am retired, so attendance at meetings would not be a problem for me. Q. What is the extent of your knowledge of the LA Open Meetings Law and the LA Public Records Act? A. I am not familiar with those, but I certainly will be willing to research them.

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