- By Third Coast
- December 11, 2014
The Associated Press 12:36 p.m. CST December 11, 2014
Louisiana’s students are missing out on millions of dollars in federal financial aid that could help them gain skills training or college degrees after high school, Superintendent of Education John White said Thursday.
Read the article here.
- By State Representative Walt Leger III
- November 28, 2014
Published as a Letter to the Editor, NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune on November 28, 2014
Imagine purchasing your dream car, with all the bells and whistles, but never changing the oil. Before you knew it, the engine would burn up, and the car would be rendered useless. That’s essentially what is threatening our newly built and renovated public school facilities, which have been brought up to national standards with $2 billion in FEMA and insurance proceeds. The looming problem is that the Orleans Parish School Board does not have, nor has it ever had, dedicated revenue to maintain its buildings. That is why our schools were in such deplorable condition prior to Hurricane Katrina and the levee breaches.
I authored Act 543 to give New Orleanians the opportunity to vote on a proposition to re-direct an existing bond millage to the preservation and maintenance of our public school buildings. It is NOT a new tax. The purpose of this legislation is to make sure funds are dedicated to maintaining our school facilities for generations without raising taxes. This is a commonsense approach to meeting an obligation to our children, who we would be failing if we allowed our public schools to fall back into disrepair.
The funding can only be used for maintenance and a number of oversight mechanisms have been built into Act 543. Each school will have to create a maintenance plan, and the funds could only be spent in accordance with these plans. Additionally, new facilities offices will be created to inspect and monitor buildings to ensure that they are being maintained. If a school is not compliant, the facilities office will step in, and the school’s ability to access maintenance funds may be suspended or terminated.
Whether they attend charter, OPSB or Recovery School District operated schools, we owe it to our children to support this proposition. The money will be dedicated to school campuses, and whichever entity is governing a school will administer the funds. If governance changes, so too would administration of the money. Our community may have an ongoing discussion about how our schools are governed. We may disagree about policies and politics. But we all can agree to rally behind our students. That is why I encourage you to vote “yes” on the school maintenance proposition on the Dec. 6 ballot.
- By Third Coast
- September 11, 2014
Published by The Advocate
Despite opposition, New Orleans and Baton Rouge leaders continue to meet with the federal government to develop a passenger rail link between the two cities and allow workers easier access to the new and expanded plants along the Mississippi River.
Read the article here: http://theadvocate.com/news/10238101-123/new-orleans-baton-rouge-rail-line
- By Third Coast
- July 22, 2014
“In a clear act of executive overreach, Governor Jindal’s attempt to abandon Common Core has placed politics ahead of our children and the future of our state. We cannot and will not stand for it. The lawsuit filed by parents against the governor sends the message that the people of our state will not allow misguided politics to choke off the promise of a better Louisiana. The lawsuit brings to light the real issues on which we should be focusing, following the law so that we can meet the needs of students, parents, and teachers. Again and again their interests have taken a back seat to political ambition and been held hostage by a small but vocal minority. I commend the parents across the state who took bold action today to do what is right and improve our education system. I will continue standing with them to help ensure that their cause succeeds.”