LAFAYETTE — The Greater Lafayette Chamber of Commerce’s political action committee announced Wednesday its endorsement of Lafayette Parish School Board District 5 candidate Kermit Bouillion.
Bouillion is the incumbent and faces one challenger, Britt Latiolais, R-Lafayette, in the Nov. 4 election.
“For the past four years, Kermit has been a rock-solid advocate for the students and teachers of Lafayette,” Frank Neuner, Empower PAC chairman, said in a news release. “His perseverance and dedication has been one of the few bright spots on a board more intent on arguing over personal differences than improving the quality of education.”
It’s the second endorsement from the chamber’s political action committee and more endorsements are expected. On Tuesday, Empower PAC endorsed District 6 candidate Justin Centanni. The endorsement announcements come during the same week as the Lafayette Parish Public Education Stakeholders Council’s school board candidate forums that began Tuesday and conclude with the final forum from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Thursday at the LITE Center.
Bouillion, a retired educator, said he wants to continue to advocate for the district’s children and educators.
“I want the opportunity to work with fellow school board members who care more deeply about our children than they do about making the 6 o’clock news attacking someone,” Bouillion said in a news release. “Lafayette Parish deserves a group of leaders who will stand up for our children and our teachers.”
A longtime resident of Lafayette Parish and Acadiana, Bouillion is a retired teacher with 20 years of classroom experience.
The chamber is a member of the Lafayette Parish Public Education Stakeholders Council’s and through that organization was a part of organizing community forums focused on the school board elections. The forums led to the creation of a report, “Common Vision for Our Future,” that outlines priorities for Lafayette Parish public schools.
Jason El Koubi, the Chamber’s president and CEO, said the report “stresses good governance practices, a commitment to evidence-based instruction, community engagement, and forging a path towards facilities we can be proud of.”
The Empower PAC identified candidates who support the Common Vision principles and are committed to its implementation, said El Koubi, who is a non-voting member of the Empower PAC’s board of directors.
“Despite the dysfunction of our school board, there have been incumbents who consistently voted to improve student achievement by supporting the community-developed turnaround plan,” he said in a prepared statement. “We commend the hard fought efforts of those individuals. Our community deserves leaders who will remain focused on improving student achievement and preparedness.”