Worth a read: Noel Hammat’s op-ed on Jindal, the DOJ and vouchers
Jindal and White
Gov. Bobby Jindal and state Superintendent John White are outraged — outraged, I declare! — over the federal Department of Justice’s insidious overreach and meddling in the school voucher program, casting the DOJ as President Obama incarnate standing in the schoolhouse door like George Wallace blocking the families of poor black children from exercising “parental choice” and denying those children the salvation of a quality education. They've enlisted the national GOP to feign a screaming fit on behalf of the chirrens, too.
But as Noel Hammat, a member of the Coalition for Louisiana Public Education and former president of the Louisiana School Board Association, points out in a guest column in The Daily Advertiser, Jindal et al are cravenly misrepresenting the DOJ’s position even as they use an argument they falsely attribute to the DOJ to fight parental choice in one of the poorest parishes in the state. It is the pinnacle of hypocrisy.
The DOJ didn’t block the voucher program as it stands, Hammat points out; it merely asked that no future vouchers be awarded until the state follows federal law and demonstrates that the vouchers distributed in parishes that remain under federal desegregation oversight will not run afoul of federal law.
So how is JindalCo. being hypocritical?
Because attorneys for White went to federal court on June 13 seeking to block low-income African-American families from exercising parental choice in St. Helena Parish, one of the lowest income districts in the state.
White asked the court to deny choice to those parents who wanted their children out of his “Recovery School District” Middle School. Why? According to White’s filing: “This court should consider St. Helena’s request looking at it from the desegregation mindset.” And then: “If St. Helena is allowed to add additional grades to its elementary school and high school that could possibly create a greater desegregation issue rather than helping to remedy the one at hand.”
So the DOJ is attacked for asking that White abide by desegregation orders, and is not denying choice to any parents. While White, on the other hand, is actually using a desegregation case to deny parents in St. Helena Parish any school choice. This is hypocrisy run amok.
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OCT 22 This entertaining short (15 minutes) film on Munchies is all about Boudin. Thank goodness it's just a documentary-style piece filled with the voices and faces of south Louisiana, as opposed to outsiders waxing poetic about our regional specialties. But be warned, there is some pretty graphic pig butchery going on here, so if you're squeamish it may not be for you.
OCT 22 A state judge threw out the lawsuit of a former employee of the LSU Alumni Association, the Advocate reports here. The employee had claimed the former director of the group gave her a job so she'd have sex with him, and after she left agreed to continue to pay her -- so she'd have sex with him. Apparently you get no points for hutzpah.
OCT 22 Education blogger Mike Deshotels writes about the retraction of the Cowen report in this post. However you slice it, the Recovery School District is still failing, he says. (But Mike, doesn't that depend on what the intention was? If no one ever meant the RSD to fix public education, it's working perfectly, isn't it?)
OCT 22 A major Jindal donor was allowed to avoid the competitive bid process in the purchase of a state office building in Monroe, blogger Tom Aswell reports in this post on Louisiana Voice. The circumstances he lays out here are pretty stinky.
OCT 22 While Govs. Bobby Jindal and Rick Perry attempt to fan the flames of Fox Newsian hysteria into viable presidential hopes with talk of building walls to keep out the Ebola, LA Times columnist Mike Hiltzik gives them some national press they probably don't want: if you want to save lives, he says, try accepting Medicaid expansion. Wups!
OCT 22 It's hard to pick out the most interesting part of this post on Mother Jones about Texas lieutenant governor candidate Dan Patrick (His claim that migrant workers will bring leprosy to Texas? That Connie Chung's show should be called "Slanted Eye to Eye"?) But of course we must go with the comments about our very own Duck people, and how they are the spokesmen for God.
OCT 22 Advocate owner (and rich guy) John Georges must be doing a little happy dance today. As his paper reports here, the Times Picayune is further reducing its footprint in NOLA, by laying off 100 people and moving their printing operations to Mobile. (Yes, Alabama.) Does this mean the Advocate won?
OCT 22 Baton Rouge's downtown is now starting to show significant growth, this post on DIG Baton Rouge reports. With new construction, new restaurants and new housing units popping up, the downtown area is finally starting to look like a capital city, the story says.
OCT 21 Two St. John Parish employees were indicted in connection with the amoeba found in the parish water supply, WVUE reports in this post. They are accused of lying about testing the water for proper chlorine levels, the story says, claims that were contradicted by their government vehicles' GPS records.
OCT 21 The McClatchy DC blog posts this fascinating view of Louisiana's political landscape. It's a little heavy on the cliches, and also a little heavy on the quaint Cajun/Creole shtick, but it's still good reading -- if only for the outside view of our insides.
OCT 21 Here's an interesting story from the National Journal about New Orleans almost 10 years post-Katrina. There are demographic information and charts, as well as some commentary about the corresponding changes in the way the city looks and works.
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