Preschool access won't expand with the money. The dollars will plug part of a budget hole created when federal stimulus funding that had been used for the program disappeared.
The state pays the costs for 16,000 4-year-olds to enroll in the pre-K program, according to Barry Landry, spokesman for the state education department. The hurricane recovery money would pay for at-risk students from 20 parishes that were damaged by Gustav and Ike, according to the proposal, which will be submitted to HUD in October.
Rep. Simone Champagne, R-Jeanerette, tells AP she has nothing against the LA4 program, but describes the governor's push as a misuse of those funds. Champagne says the Department of Education should go back to the drawing board and figure out another way for filling the gaps in the LA4 program's budget.
Champagne says many of the residents in her district whose homes flooded during Ike and Gustav, as well as Hurricane Rita in 2005, still await funding to elevate their homes — delays that are largely the result of the beauracratic hoops and barrels people have had to jump through when applying for the relief money.
The funds in question, though, were distributed by HUD, while the Home Elevation Program is a FEMA-funded initiative, Michael DiResto, spokesman for the governor's division of administration, tells the IND Monthly.
Yet, Champagne tells the IND Monthly that those funds could have been used for the home elevation project, but only by approval of the state Legislature, which denied her request during this year's session.
"I really believe if we don't start using the money properly, we'll continue to have people unprotected from storms," says Champagne. "There are still unmet needs in the hurricane-related parishes. We still have hundreds of people, homeowners, that need to elevate their homes."
Paul Rainwater, commissioner of administration and Jindal's top budget advisor, defended the reallocation of the money, telling AP it will still benefit people affected by the 2008 hurricanes.
According to Rainwater, the LA4 program, like the home elevation program, aids people impacted by Ike and Gustav by providing free child care to parents out-of-work as a result of the 2008 hurricanes.
Rainwater argues that without the LA4 program, thousands of parents living in areas impacted by the hurricanes would be forced to either take on the costs of childcare themselves, or be forced to quit their jobs, thus hurting the state's workforce.
Rainwater's statement makes sense. But so does Champagnes' argument for the need to elevate homes in those affected areas.
Read the full AP article here.
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.
Wednesday's Blogs from the Bog!
Here's your daily look at late-breaking national and international news, upcoming events and the stories that will be talked about Wednesday, April 16, 2014:
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.
The Appropriations Committee held public testimony day, letting people talk about what they like or don't like about Gov. Bobby Jindal's budget recommendations for the 2014-15 fiscal year that begins July 1.
Lafayette police are investigating the death of a 21-year-old woman whose body was found early Sunday in a drainage ditch in Girard Park.
Former Grant parish District Attorney Ed Tarpley says he's running for the U.S. House seat currently held by Republican Vance McAllister of Swartz.
Louisiana-Lafayette got strong starting pitching and timely hitting to hold off Arkansas-Little Rock 6-3 in Sun Belt Conference baseball in Lafayette, La.
Chris Williams knows how to pilfer from the public coffers, this time with a back-pay lawsuit filed three years ago against the Lafayette Housing Authority, which netted the former city-parish councilman a cool five figures.
McAllister's office vowed that he intended to stay in office — for now. As for questions about whether he would stand for re-election in November, those were dodged.
The Green Army's Lafayette brigade has announced it will pay a visit Friday morning to Sen. Page Cortez to urge him to vote against Sen. Robert Adley's SB 553, which the group is calling the "Big Oil Bailout Bill of 2014."