District 8 Forum Coverage by the Advocate

Carolyn Hill, who is seeking her second term on the state Board of Elementary and Secondary Education, blasted the panel Wednesday night during a forum with challenger Jada Lewis.

 Hill, who often clashes with other BESE members, painted the 11-member board as out of touch.

“Right now the community does not trust BESE,” she said.

Hill added later on another topic, “BESE has neglected to do that, listen to the parents.”

She also said that, of the six incumbent panel members on the ballot next month, only two have worked for children, a reference to herself and BESE member Lottie Beebe, who lives in Breaux Bridge.

“The rest have worked for reform,” Hill said. “The thing they have forgotten is children.”

Lewis, an assistant dean of the College of Engineering at LSU, said she is from a family of educators, has worked for years to boost the number of minorities and women in engineering and that workforce development is one of her chief goals.

She said some of Louisiana’s ideas about public education are ancient.

“We have some challenges,” Lewis said. “I want to turn those challenges into opportunities.”

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