The governor delivers a potential coup de grâce to the group’s Escadrille Louisiane program.
When Gov. Bobby Jindal vetoed $2 million in marketing funding Friday for the state's Department of Culture, Recreation and Tourism, it sent more than a chill through the office of the Council for the Development of French in Louisiana.Jindal's stroke of the pen put the 2-year-old Escadrille Louisiane initiative of the 44-year-old CODOFIL in a precarious position.
"I'm terribly disappointed," says CODOFIL President William Arceneaux. "Terribly disappointed. That's about all you can say."
All this comes just after getting LSU on board with Shreveport's Centenary College. The cuts will effect the 2013-14 term.
"We were going to shoot for 20 [students] next year. We did 10 the first year and we did seven this year," says Arceneaux. "But with this $100,000 cut, it's unlikely we'll be able to do any of that."
In 2010, the Legislature reorganized CODOFIL's structure, membership and mission "and the primary mission set forth in that law in 2010 was to develop more French immersion schools in Louisiana," says Arceneaux.
Before any cart goes a horse; likewise before any classroom a teacher must stand, which led to the question: "Who are we going to get to teach French in these French immersion schools?" asks Arceneaux, who then contacted the French government about sending American graduate students for schooling in France.
The French government loved the idea, says Arceneaux, and so along with the French Consulate in New Orleans, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in France "as well as colleges and universities in Louisiana to send people to France," the goal of more French Immersion in Louisiana was pursued.
CODOFIL picked up the ticket for the round trip, as well as the graduate level tuition of the students at Shreveport's Centenary College the summer prior to their departure.
The idea of the program has its roots in Escadrille Lafayette, a squadron of 200 American pilots who were sent to France's aide in WWI.
"They wanted to honor the Marquis de Lafayette for his role in fighting for the American Revolution on the side of the American," says Arceneaux. "I asked the French government if they'd be willing to take, over the next five to 10 years, 200, not pilots, but potential teachers who'd come back to Louisiana and teach," says Arceneaux.
In the process of "substantial belt-tightening" at CODOFIL, additional fallout means the 2.5 employees (down from 10 about 20 years ago) will leave just two as the part-time help will be let go.
"There's no money for travel anywhere — in-state or out-of-state — so, we'll be doing a lot of work on the phone, I guess," says Arceneaux.
"With those cuts, I don't know what we're going to do," he says. "Obviously, we'll try to raise as much private money as we can to continue the program. But failing that worse-case scenario, we'll probably have to suspend the program and hope for better times."
All this makes the upcoming fundraiser during the French Ambassador François Delattre's visit later this month a rather important affair.
The fundraising gala for study scholarships in France is set for Thursday, June 28, 7:15 p.m., at the UL Alumni House, 600 E. St. Mary Blvd. Tickets are $500 a couple; RSVP by calling 989-0071.
"Let's hope it's a success," Arceneaux says. "We need it now more than ever."
Time and time again, the Lafayette Parish School Board shows an overwhelming tendency toward idiocy, but Wednesday night’s contentious discussion over Northside High School’s teen mother program tops the list of dumb discussions.
“The accomplishment of this goal within the next ten years is not only critical for the region to effectively compete with other regions for residents and businesses, but also to provide an amenity for everyone in Acadiana to enjoy.”
Education Superintendent John White says a continued push to try to keep Louisiana from using tests associated with the Common Core education standards are creating "a state of chaos" for public school teachers.
Gov. Bobby Jindal's plan to use $210 million in surplus and one-time money to help balance next year's budget received the backing Thursday of the State Bond Commission, support that was needed for the maneuver to work.
State wildlife and fisheries agents have arrested a 39-year-old man accused of stealing crawfish.
An East Feliciana Parish lawmaker has jettisoned his proposal to make it harder for a condemned prisoner to appeal a death sentence.
Senators advanced a proposal Wednesday that would let the governor remove New Orleans-area levee board members for violating what he considers to be public policy, despite concerns it would introduce political meddling into state flood protection.
Here's your daily look at late-breaking national and international news, upcoming events and the stories that will be talked about Thursday, April 17, 2014:
Thursday's Blogs from the Bog!
The Lafayette City-Parish Council on Tuesday will vote on a resolution that if approved would clear the way for a December ballot proposition asking voters to approve a 1-cent sales tax parishwide to help fund the construction of a new terminal at Lafayette Regional Airport.
Just days before the fourth anniversary of the 2010 Deepwater Horizon disaster and oil spill, the Coast Guard has moved cleanup of Louisiana's coast to a new phase, allowing BP to end its "active" efforts in the area.
Legislators still must leave their guns at the door of the Louisiana Capitol.
Sen. Fred Mills may have an "R" behind his name, but his actions in the Louisiana Legislature transcend the established boundaries of his party.
The Louisiana House overwhelmingly rejected a repeal of the state's unconstitutional anti-sodomy law Tuesday.
The Louisiana Senate sided with Gov. Bobby Jindal and the oil industry Tuesday, agreeing to void a lawsuit that a south Louisiana flood board filed against more than 90 oil and gas companies for coastal damage.
Acadian rep notifies would-be supporters that an April 25 fundraiser for the embattled U.S. rep won’t go on as planned.
While it isn’t all too unusual for public bodies to have hired security present during meetings, the LPSB’s push to do so is arguably a response to the antics of one board member.
“I’m running. Why would I be raising all this money? Just to have to return it to people?”
With incumbent U.S. Sen. Mary Landrieu watching from afar, and with a united Democratic Party in her corner, the fight to get the GOP officially behind Congressman Bill Cassidy is gaining just as much momentum as it is hushed controversy.
15th Judicial District Judge Durwood Conque has announced that he will not seek re-election after 27 years on the bench.
The controversial standardized tests are set to be used in third-grade through eighth-grade public school classrooms next year.
The Louisiana Senate has agreed to prohibit unmanned aircraft from flying over chemical plants, water treatment systems, telecommunications networks and other items considered "critical infrastructure" in Louisiana.
It didn’t take long for KATC TV 3 to jump all over the news of a dead body found in Girard Park, but in its rush to produce headlines, the local TV station got sloppy.
An unholy trinity of civil-society upheavalers whose first names are not Conner, Tanner or Logan are facing charges in Eunice.
Now that lawmakers have shot down efforts to cap annual interest rates for payday loans, supporters for stricter regulations of the storefront lenders are rallying behind another strategy.