A portion of the “racino” revenues that state Treasurer John Kennedy says “rightfully belongs” to the St. Landry Parish School System has been restored to the struggling district after Gov. Bobby Jindal unsuccessfully tried to funnel the money to the state’s Medical Assistance Trust Fund (read DHH).
According to a joint press release from Kennedy’s office and Democratic state Rep. Ledricka Thierry of Opelousas, $800,000 has been restored to the St. Landry Parish Excellence Fund, a state fund set up to support St. Landry Parish public education by dedicating 5 percent of taxes collected from the Evangeline Downs Racetrack and proceeds from the casino’s slot machines. According to The Daily World, the fund had somehow acquired a $1.8 million reserve, which Jindal tried to take from the local school district and move to state coffers.
Though Thierry is still working to recoup the rest of the money in the fund, the $800,000 is good news for a school board that, according to The Daily World, “would find itself $4 million in the red by July and with an $8 million deficit by December” without the cuts it has proposed to its roughly $100 million budget.
The school district’s finances are so dire that the system faced potential state takeover last week, but the state’s Fiscal Review Committee voted against the drastic move, according to the press release:
“This is not state money. This is money that rightfully belongs to St. Landry Parish,” says Kennedy. “We’re very happy to expedite this request and help ease some short-term budget pain to the St. Landry Parish school system.”
Treasurer Kennedy is a member of the state Fiscal Review Committee that voted last week to avoid a state takeover of the system. At the meeting, he was very critical of the Governor’s proposal in his Executive Budget to “sweep” the St. Landry School District’s “Racino” funds into the state budget.
“Our committee has reviewed the system’s finances, and while they most certainly have challenges to face in the short and long term, we are going to give the new board and new superintendent the time to execute a plan that works,” says Kennedy.
To post a comment, please log into your IND account. If you do not have an account, click the "register" button to create one. Facebook comments can be used as an alternative to creating an account at theIND.com.
AUG 29 Everyone who cares about Louisiana should take time to peruse this story about coastal loss from Bob Marshall of The Lens. It's not enough to call it a story; it's an interactive experience packed with data and amazing graphics, timelines, history, photos and excellent writing. Set aside some time, because you can't go through this one in a few minutes.
JUN 29 This bizarre story from the Advocate on the shooting of a Baton Rouge television personality reads like the script of a soap opera - but not a good one. The allegations against him include sexual abuse of children, including the alleged shooter, and a sham immigration marriage involving his own daughter. The other side? He was a chaplin for the Sheriff's Office in Baton Rouge and preached in a local church.
AUG 29 Here's a story from CBS News about a killer amoeba found in the water system of St. John the Baptist Parish. The story made all three networks (CBS, ABC, NBC) as well as Fox "News," although they have not yet found out how it is Obama's fault. Seriously, the good news is that so far officials know of no one sickened by the water.
AUG 29 Huffington Post has a blog called Love Letters, which is grandly described as "an anthology of reflections on places the world over." This entry is from LSU Football Coach Les Miles, who, it appears, loves Baton Rouge. (Of course he does; he's a rich straight white man.) And certainly Baton Rouge loves him - unless he loses (ask Curley "Golden Flake" Hallman about that) or leaves (ask Nick Saban).
AUG 29 Blogger Bob Mann comments here upon Governor Bobby Jindal's federal lawsuit about Common Core. Mann calls it a "thinly veiled campaign document" and that might be the nicest thing he says in this post. Most troubling for Jindal and his aspirations, Mann has unearthed what Bobby said just a few years ago when he first decided to shove Common Core down our throats.
AUG 29 Blogger Tom Aswell has several developments here related to the so-called Edmonson amendment. The most entertaining one is possibly Tom's acknowledgement that a State Police official is (allegedly) calling the bloggers covering the story some colorful names. Listen up, cowboy: You really think two veterans like Tom Aswell and CB Forgotston care if you call them idiots?
AUG 29 Gotta love those journalists who write something with the enthusiasm that implies they're the first one to figure something out. Mostly, they're not. This is one of those times; the post on Slate Magazine says that Bobby Jindal's Common Core lawsuit is a political stunt. Well - Duh.
AUG 29 This story by WVLA tells us about a guy who got busted for speeding in Baton Rouge. Who cares? This guy took that infraction to new heights by going 129 miles per hour on Nicholson Drive. Poor fella - he probably has spent so much time sitting in Baton Rouge traffic he just had to cut lose.
AUG 28 As the controversy surrounding the Office of Group Benefits intensifies, blogger Tom Aswell gives us some background on the current problems. The OGB, which handles health insurance for current and retired state employees, is deep in the red since it was privatized by Jindal, and Aswell gives us the skinny: this great plan was designed by ALEC. The company handling it? Blue Cross Blue Shield of Louisiana - a longtime member of ALEC.
AUG 28 Blogger CB Forgotston has a concept for a new reality show: the wives of the "Dork Dynasty." That's the name that some troopers have given to State Police Commander Mike Edmonson and his inner circle. The ladies CB has picked for his cast are not just housewives, however, and the connections here are pretty interesting.
AUG 28 Blogger Ian McGibboney is writing about the strife in Ferguson in this post, and articulating what many people down south are saying. There's a fairy tale about how there's tons of racism in the South, but it's all hunky dory up North. (Really? Look again.)
Read the Flipping Paper!
Click Here for the Entire Print Version of IND Monthly