Qualifying for the Nov. 4 local elections begins in a little over a week, and the Greater Lafayette Chamber of Commerce is paying close attention to the Lafayette Parish School Board.

Jason El Koubi, president and chief executive officer for the Chamber, said the race will affect nearly every family, even those who have no kids.

"It's one of the biggest quality of life issues that impacts our community and that impacts every community," El Koubi said. "The product of public schools...are a fundamental building block of our future workforce" and they help drive the local economy.

The ongoing controversy between the school board and the system's superintendent, Dr. Pat Cooper, El Koubi said "what's happening at the school board is a real blemish" and it's "embarrassing," especially considering the many accolades the city of Lafayette has received. The dispute "flies in the face of all of the great other things that are happening," El Koubi added.

To assist voters the Chamber has provided a tool on its website that allows users to find out who their elected officials are--whether they be school board members, city-parish council members, or state and federal elected officials.

The Chamber is also hosting a three-day series of candidate forums from Sept. 23 - 25 from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the LITE Center, where voters will be able hear from these candidates.

To listen to the full interview with El Koubi, click on the 'Play' button below.