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Governor Edwards and first lady meet with Acadiana educators

Posted at 7:40 PM, Jul 02, 2019

LAFAYETTE — On Monday, some Acadiana teachers are feeling that their concerns about education in Louisiana are going to be dealt with. Governor Edwards was in Lafayette for a round table discussion with educators.

"That's why your profession is so noble. That's why your contributions are so significant. You touch so many people," Edwards said.

Edwards, along with his wife who is a former teacher, met face to face with those who walk the halls of Acadiana everyday.

The more than 20 educators were excited to tell the governor how grateful they are for the first teacher pay raise in the state in 10 years.

"The teacher raise has been a big plus for educators, which as the governor stated today is just a stepping stone. He is going to continue to work towards getting raises for the educators, but we have to start somewhere and i think this is a great start," Sheryl Alexander said.

From pay raises to counseling, the educators also brought forth the issue of some schools not having a counselor on campus and how that affects students in the classroom.

"I have to look into some of the information given today. Quite frankly, I believed there were counselors assigned to the schools of that size they were talking about. I don't believe we have a shortage of counselors in Louisiana so I am going to take this back to Baton Rouge and really work on it. This is also the first time I've heard that we have schools without counselors," Edwards said.

The conversation then shifted to mental health care for students in the state. Educators are forced in some cases to teach reading and writing, but also coping skills for what students are forced to live with.

"I'm seeing such an alarming rate of trauma in the children and them having no way to cope. That's all they they think about at that age because they are going home at night and they aren't worried about homework. They aren't absorbing what you did during the day because they are going through more trauma every single day," Andi Doucet said.

Governor Edwards, along with the first lady, promised to take all concerns back to the capitol to start working towards resolutions.