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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AUG 22 Blogger Robert Mann is writing about the so-called Edmonson Amendment in this post, and he's not a fan. If Bobby Jindal really does support a "gold standard" of ethics he would have done something - or even said something - and yet he has not, Mann says.
AUG 22 Crazy Crawfish is blogging about the (interesting) incident of the state Education Department's website being out of commission earlier this week. It was reported (with heavy implications) in two local media outlets, and Crawfish feels the stories would have been better had the reporters done a little investigation instead of just printing what they were told.
AUG 22 Blogger Tom Aswell has some advice for state troopers who plan on making any public comments or challenges to the Jindal administration: don't do it. He's telling the story of one trooper who dared to challenge Commander Mike Edmonson's buddy and paid the price for it.
AUG 22 Columnist Clancy DuBos is writing about the upcoming elections in this post on Gambit. The field for local and federal offices has its share of old guys, he tells us, although mostly he's talking about Edwin Edwards.
AUG 22 Columnist Jim Beam is talking about the Office of Group Benefits in this post; that's the office that handles the money collected from state employees to pay their benefits. The OGB reserve fund has been reduced by half in the last year, and the Jindal administration keeps saying that's a good thing - but that's like telling a kid that castor oil is good, Beam says.
AUG 22 Columnist James Gill is writing about dueling efforts over the killing of animals; on one side is a lady trying to avoid the euthanizing of stray cats and on the other is a camp of folk who feel that there are enough black bears in Louisiana for us to start killing them for fun.
AUG 22 One could assume that nobody (teachers included) likes it when politicians tell them how to do their job. So what do teachers think about Common Core? Blogger Michael Deshotels is examining some responses from teachers who were asked. (Spoiler alert: none of these comments will be used in a Common Core marketing campaign.)
AUG 22 This post on The Hill is commenting upon the latest round of "that candidate is the worst person in the world" ads that are running in Louisiana's Senate race. This round takes aim at Bill Cassidy, the physician/Congressman who is challenging Mary Landrieu, and lists all the votes he has cast that hurt veterans.
AUG 21 Tom Aswell is telling us about another "efficiency" contract the state has signed. This one is paying a consultant (i.e. someone with a briefcase from out of town) $140 an hour, plus tens of thousands in air fare. The agency on the receiving end of this tender care? The DMV. Well -- that's working great, then.
AUG 21 Columnist Stephanie Riegel is writing about the scandal that has rocked the LSU Alumni Association (to wit, the executive director's "girlfriend" also was his employee; when they "broke up" he started paying her, with alumni money, to keep her mouth shut). In particular, she's looking for some lessons to learn from the mishigas.
AUG 21 This post on The Lens brings us up to date on the ongoing process of populating the levee board that will decide if the so-called Big Oil lawsuit will move forward. Gov. Jindal has done his best to put the kibosh on the suit by removing pro-suit members, but the process of replacing them is not simple, Bob Marshall tells us.
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