Louisiana's Governor Race

Candidate Comparison

John Bel Edwards (D) (Incumbent),
Governor of Louisiana

Eddie Rispone (R),
Businessman

This candidate did not respond to the Southern Education Foundation’s formal request for information regarding their education platform. All information for these comparisons was either sourced from the candidate’s responses to our formal request, the candidate’s website, or from statements the candidate made in articles cited below.

This candidate did not respond to the Southern Education Foundation’s formal request for information regarding their education platform. All information for these comparisons was either sourced from the candidate’s responses to our formal request, the candidate’s website, or from statements the candidate made in articles cited below.

Bio: A lifelong Louisianan and a graduate of the United States Military Academy, Governor John Bel Edwards served in the U.S. Army and served as the Minority Leader of the Louisiana House of Representatives prior to becoming Governor of Louisiana. According to Gov. Edwards, he has focused on balancing Louisiana’s budget, expanding healthcare to the state’s working poor, and growing Louisiana’s economy to the largest it’s ever been.

Bio: A native of North Baton Rouge, Eddie Rispone, is a co-founder of ISC Constructors, one of the nation’s largest specialty contractors. Rispone served as the 2003 National Chairman of the Associated Builders and Contractors and as the Chairman of the Louisiana Workforce Investment Council. Rispone also chaired the Louisiana Federation for Children, one of the state’s preeminent school choice advocacy organizations.

Primary Education Priorities: Gov. Edwards’ primary educational priorities are to increase teacher pay to match the southern average and recruit more qualified teachers. Additionally, Gov. Edwards supports increasing funding for classrooms and preserving funding for higher education in the state.

Primary Education Priorities: As the former chairman of a major school choice advocacy organization, the Louisiana Federation for Children, Rispone supports school choice. Rispone also believes in local control of education and does not support across-the-board funding increases for school districts as he does not believe increased funding directly leads to improved outcomes.

Early Education and Pre-Kindergarten: Gov. Edwards supports directing revenue from sports betting in Louisiana toward early childhood education programs. Gov. Edwards declared recently that one of his top priorities will be to expand early childhood education in the state.

Early Education and Pre-Kindergarten: Rispone’s campaign did not provide a stance on how he plans to promote early childhood education and Pre-K programs.

K-12 Funding: Gov. Edwards supports increasing funding for K-12 public education in the state, specifically through using the state’s Minimum Foundation Program (MFP), a formula leveraged to determine the least cost necessary for a foundational K-12 education, for more instructional materials for teachers.

K-12 Funding: Rispone does not fully support increasing funding for school districts, as he does not see an intrinsic relationship between school funding and student outcomes.  

Private School Choice: Gov. Edwards opposes the expansion of private school choice programs in Louisiana, touting the benefits of public education and pointing to the high number of ‘F’-rated private schools in the state.

Private School Choice: Rispone formerly served as the chairman of the Louisiana Federation for Children, a state branch of the American Federation for Children. As one of the largest school choice advocacy organizations in the state, the Louisiana Federation for Children aims to protect, grow and expand scholarship programs for low- and middle-income children. Rispone supports increased funding for private school choice programs in Louisiana.

Community Schools or Wraparound Services: Gov. Edwards’ campaign did not provide a stance on how he plans to increase funding specifically for community schools and wraparound services.

Community Schools or Wraparound Services: Rispone’s campaign did not provide a stance on how he plans to increase funding specifically for community schools and wraparound services.

Student Safety and Mental Health: Gov. Edwards’ campaign did not provide a stance on how he plans to promote student safety and increase access to mental health services for students.

Student Safety and Mental Health: Rispone’s campaign did not provide a stance on how he plans to promote student safety and increase access to mental health services for students.

Teacher Services and Professional Development: Gov. Edwards supports increasing teacher pay in Louisiana to the Southern average of around $50,955. Gov. Edwards proposed in his most recent budget a salary increase of $1,000 for public school teachers and $500 for support staff members. Edwards also supports the recruitment of more qualified teachers for Louisiana’s classrooms and increased funding for instructional materials and other classroom expenses. Additionally, Gov. Edwards retains unwavering support from the state’s major teachers’ union, the Louisiana Federation of Teachers.

Teacher Services and Professional Development: Rispone believes that while teachers should be compensated at a higher level, pay increases should be decided by local school boards instead of by the state government. Rispone also believes that pay increases should be tied to teacher performance instead of being distributed across the board.

Investments in HBCUs: Gov. Edwards’ campaign did not provide a plan for increasing funding specifically for HBCUs in Louisiana.

Investments in HBCUs: Rispone’s campaign did not provide a plan for increasing funding specifically for HBCUs in Louisiana.

 

The Future of Public Education on the 2019 Ballot in

Kentucky, Louisiana, & Mississippi

What You Need To Know

2019 Governor Races:

Choosing Our Children's Future

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