Louisiana Association of Business and Industry (LABI) President Stephen Waguespack’s analysis of how to improve education in Louisiana is wrong because their whole premise on reducing poverty, crime and an underdeveloped workforce is wrong. LABI claims to be concerned about decades of poor outcomes, but their armies of lobbyists fight ALL legislative efforts that would improve those outcomes: paying male and female workers fairly and enough, providing all workers with affordable health care and requiring best labor practices like paid sick leave and family leave so workers and their children could thrive.

Children growing up in poverty have trouble learning — studies are showing the damaging effects of poverty can limit academic success — so let’s tackle the poverty as well as the education system.

We can all agree we need well-resourced, well-trained professional teachers and administrators teaching to locally respected standards of learning in school facilities that are healthy and inspiring environments. With this in mind, LABI should be 100 percent in support of John Bel Edwards. His platform will not only help the everyday worker in this state — it will actually bring about a better business climate in which to make money.

Julie Schwam Harris

retired public administrator, volunteer women’s advocate

New Orleans