LAFAYETTE, La. (KPEL News) - Voters in Louisiana BESE District 7 will be going to the polls during the Early Voting Period (November 4-11 excluding Sunday) and on Election Day (November 18) looking to elect a new board member.

BESE District 7 covers eight parishes - Acadia, Allen, Beauregard, Calcasieu, Cameron, Jefferson Davis, Lafayette, and Vermilion.

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Longtime District 7 representative Dr. Holly Boffy is term-limted and Dr. Erick Knezek and Kevin Berken have made the runoff election to replace her. In the October 14th Primary Election, Berken led the way with 37% of the vote and Dr. Knezek following closely behind with 34%.

Facebook / Holly Boffy
Facebook / Holly Boffy
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Brandon Comeaux and Tracy Wirtz of "Acadiana's Morning News" wanted to spotlight this BESE race and allow the listeners to get to know the candidates. The candidates were asked the same questions and were allowed to speak to the voters after answering the questions.

Dr. Erick Knezek

Up first was Dr. Erick Knezek, who has served as President of the Lafayette School Board and has served our country in the Navy and as a SWAT specialist.

Here are the questions asked to Dr. Knezek:

  1. How has your experiences prepared you to be a BESE board member?
  2. What is your opinion of an appeals proces that would give students who are unable to pass the LEAP test another option to graduate? In order to apply for an appeal, President Dr. Boffy says appeals would be administered by local school systems.
  3. What is your view of school choice? Are you in favor of public charter schools? And, do you believe in public funding for private and religious schools or are you in favor of tax credits or vouchers to pay for private and religious schools of choice?
  4. Louisiana continues to rank below the National average for teacher compensation, and struggles to even keep up with the Southern average. Funding for these pay raises becomes an issue at the State Legislature every session as one-time payments have become one way of putting off the issue but addressing it at the moment. How do you believe raises should be given to teachers across Louisiana as we try to stay competitive with other states?
  5. What is your Final Statement to the Listeners?

Kevin Berken

Up next was Kevin Berken, a rice farmer and a business owner who has been active on several farming, hospice, and hospital boards.

Here are the questions asked to Berken:

  1. How has your experiences prepared you to be a BESE board member?
  2. What is your opinion of an appeals proces that would give students who are unable to pass the LEAP test another option to graduate? In order to apply for an appeal, President Dr. Boffy says appeals would be administered by local school systems.
  3. What is your view of school choice? Are you in favor of public charter schools? And, do you believe in public funding for private and religious schools or are you in favor of tax credits or vouchers to pay for private and religious schools of choice?
  4. Louisiana continues to rank below the National average for teacher compensation, and struggles to even keep up with the Southern average. Funding for these pay raises becomes an issue at the State Legislature every session as one-time payments have become one way of putting off the issue but addressing it at the moment. How do you believe raises should be given to teachers across Louisiana as we try to stay competitive with other states?
  5. What is your Final Statement to the listeners?

Things Lafayette Adults Get Excited For That Kids Find Ridiculous

Buckle up, because we're about to explore 8 things that make Lafayette grown-ups jump for joy while leaving kids scratching their heads and thinking, "Wait, seriously? They're excited about that?"

Gallery Credit: Joe Cunningham

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