A state appeals court has affirmed a lower court ruling that thousands of New Orleans teachers and school employees fired after Hurricane Katrina were denied the constitutional right of due process.

Rather than levy cuts on state agencies, the Jindal administration will ask lawmakers to use unspent dollars from the state's recent tax amnesty period to fill the gap.

Nearly all of Louisiana's public school districts have the capability to administer online tests, while about two-thirds reach the minimum student-to-computer ratio sought by the state, Superintendent of Education John White said Wednesday.

Several committee members questioned why the administration needed outside help to come up with ideas. They objected to the price of the contract. And they asked what else the governor expected to find after spending his five years in office repeatedly talking about a long list of efficiencies his administration has enacted.

The Department of Education is boosting its contracts for outside lawyers to represent the department in lawsuits tied to Jindal's voucher program that uses tax dollars to send children to private schools.

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