A deserved amount of controversy is generated by the state’s new vouchers for private school tuition, but it is not the only element of state law that changed this year. Significant changes are in store and new demands placed on traditional school systems by education bills championed by Gov. Bobby Jindal in this year’s Legislature.
Parts of the wide-ranging new laws — crammed together as Act 1 and Act 2 of the 2012 Legislature — affect the relationships between school boards and superintendents, giving the latter more untrammeled authority in hiring and firing. Other parts of the package include new alternative course work that might be available online for some students.
And amid all this is the looming implementation of a teacher evaluation system that could provide a significant amount of new work for principals and other supervisors of teachers, as well as paperwork demands. The state, for example, is working to assess whether computer capabilities in local systems are up to the task — for otherwise, the new demands could overwhelm the information technology that cash-strapped public schools can today afford.