Couillon: DOE cites unnamed voucher-loving parents
Gov. Bobby Jindal’s inaugural year of the voucher is finally taking shape, and parents of the almost 5,000 public school students enrolled in private schools statewide are so happy with their experience thus far that they’ve offered upbeat personal stories in support of the program — anonymously.
The state Department of Education released final enrollment numbers Thursday for students participating in the new statewide voucher program that funnels public money to private schools accepting low-income students zoned for public schools with a C, D or F performance letter grade.
According to a release from DOE, 117 private schools and one traditional public school have opted to take in 4,944 voucher students who qualify for the program. To be eligible, income cannot exceed $57,000 a year for a family of four.
Amid all the voucher excitement at DOE, the state agency sent a press release to media outlets touting the high enrollment figures, which exceed other private school voucher programs across the country. DOE’s press office even included comments from Northlake Christian School parents who shared stories about their children’s first day of school, quotes that media outlets might have included in their recaps — if they weren’t anonymous:
Today’s announcement concludes a multi-month process to determine school participation and student assignments. Nearly 10,400 students applied for a Student Scholarship for Educational Excellence under a four-year-old program begun in New Orleans and expanded statewide this year through Act 2 of the 2012 Regular Legislative Session. After determining school eligibility and slot availability, nearly 5,000 students are enrolled in the program. Scholarship enrollment numbers for the 2012-2013 school year reveal 14 percent of students came from public schools labeled a C, 69 percent from schools labeled a D, and 17 percent from schools labeled an F.
Parents from Northlake Christian School in St. Tammany Parish applauded the program. One mom said, “I have never picked my child up from school and watched her face light up as she talked about her first day of school. I am going to find out tonight if she knows how to use the online grading system. I am so grateful that she is attending there this school year. Lunch was awesome she said and she did not eat alone. Thank you all for making this a good experience.” Another parent commented, “Let me say that after the first day of school, my child said, ‘Mom, I had a great day at school!’ On his second day he said, ‘Mom, I hope they keep me here until I’m a senior!’ I wanted to cry. It was amazing to hear him say that!!”
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APR 18 So Gov. Jindal's new press secretary already has blocked blogger CB Forgotston from her Twitter account, CB tells us in this post. Sure, CB hasn't exactly been sugar sweet to the lady, but if his blogs are all it takes for her to get in a huff she better find some intestinal fortitude somewhere, because that's just the tip of the iceberg.
APR 18 Pooyie! Robert Kennedy Jr. isn't pulling any punches in this column on Huffington Post about the flood board's lawsuit against Big Oil and Bobby Jindal's involvement in efforts to kill it. Kennedy, who is president of the Waterkeeper Alliance, describes Jindal as 'genuflecting to Big Oil's pressure' and 'the industry's chief indentured servant.' Dang!
APR 18 Here's a video of UL Coach Mark Hudspeth showing he can pump some serious iron. It sure impressed the Dr. Saturday blog, which calls his press of 370 pounds a "ridiculous" number for a coach -- and opines that no other college coach could beat ours.
APR 18 Columnist John Maginnis offers some advice to Vance McAllister on this post: Don't quit. Republicans have demanded he resign, but offer no "sensible answer" to the question of why David Vitter shouldn't leave, too, he says. McAllister needs to do his duty and serve out his (abbreviated) term, Maginnis says.
APR 18 Blogger Lamar White Jr. comments upon the plan to make a Bible Louisiana's "official book" in this post. He argues his point by telling us the story of an immigrant couple who moved to Louisiana: Amar and Raj, whose oldest child is now our Governor. This action would have a much larger impact, he opines.
APR 18 There's only one major bill left defending public education, blogger Mike Deshotels writes in this post. He's also got a few choice words for state Superintendent John White, who implies that Louisiana teachers would be thrown into chaos and disarray if they didn't have a test to teach. (Maybe kids would actually get an education then? Nah!)
APR 18 An effort to set up speed cameras on the Interstate has been shut down before it even got started, columnist Stephanie Grace tells us in this post. A bill to block the practice is sailing through the legislature -- where apparently no one wants visitors to our fair state to arrive home to a ticket. (These guys must never drive on I-10 with people from Texas).
APR 18 Blogger Tom Aswell reassures everyone worried about the staffers for Rodney Alexander -- the ones who didn't go to work for McAllister or Candid Camera, anyway -- with this post. Apparently one staffer for the retired Congressman (who also worked for a preacher accused of sexual assault) already has been hired by Alexander in the state department he now runs, Aswell says.
APR 17 At the start of the Tuesday board meeting that ended with his removal from the President's post, Joe Aguillard told the governing board of Louisiana College that SACS, the accreditation agency, requires the board to adopt a confidentiality agreement regarding board actions. Later that day, SACS told the Town Talk that confidentiality agreements would never be required. Calvinist or not, isn't lying wrong?
APR 17 Here we are, looking like backwater dummies again in the national media. This story on Huffington Post tells the nation that our legislators are so scared of the Louisiana Family Forum that they won't vote to repeal a law that was ruled illegal years ago. (Guess these particular Christians don't cotton to that "love one another" thing.)
APR 17 Here's an interesting column from Paul Stanley, political opinion editor of the Christian Post. He breaks down the differences between David Vitter and Vance McAllister, in terms of political realities. What he found surprising was the fact that many GOP leaders are swinging a self-righteous sword at McAllister which had remained sheathed when Vitter's "sin" was revealed. He does have an interesting theory -- that Jindal's people want the Vitter issue to be revived.
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