Amy Jeffries

News Director

Amy started her career in public radio at WNPR in Hartford, CT more than a decade ago. NPR flew her in to Baton Rouge to help WRKF cover the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina while she was still based in the North. Here she found her journalistic calling.

After getting a Master of Journalism degree from the University of California, Berkeley and taking a detour through online media as a local editor for Patch, she finally returned to public radio and to Baton Rouge in January 2012.

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Education Overhaul
8:57 am
Thu May 23, 2013

Dust Settled, Lawmakers More Measured on Education Reforms

Baton Rouge Democrat Rep. Ted James (left) and New Orleans Republican Rep. Kirk Talbot have both proposed bills this session moderating the education overhaul of 2012.
Credit Amy Jeffries / WRKF

Earlier this month, Louisiana's Supreme Court ruled that the way the state's private school voucher program was paid for was unconstitutional. It can't be paid for through the Minimum Foundation Formula, or MFP -- the pool of money that supports public education.

Rep. Kirk Talbot, a Republican from New Orleans who voted in favor of the education overhaul Gov. Bobby Jindal pushed hard for last year, says the missteps in the funding of the voucher program gave some in the legislature, " a little bit of heartburn."

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Political Analysis
3:31 am
Fri May 17, 2013

Analyst Cokie Roberts Steeped in Louisiana Politics

Steve Fenn ABC, Inc.

NPR News Analyst Cokie Roberts grew up in Louisiana in the 1940 and 50s -- the daughter of Hale and Lindy Boggs, who both represented New Orleans in Congress.

Cokie was home, here in Louisiana yesterday, to deliver the keynote speech at LSU's commencement ceremony.

Before all the pomp and circumstance, WRKF's Amy Jeffries caught up with her.


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Interviews
4:56 pm
Tue April 30, 2013

'Wait, Wait' Host Talks of Bombs and Laughter

Peter Sagal
Credit NPR

As the host of Wait, Wait, Don’t Tell Me!, Peter Sagal, makes jokes about the news every week.

Game show hosts are typically not supposed to be part of the news.

But Peter Sagal ran the Boston Marathon as a guide for a blind runner, and a strange thing happened on the way past the finish line...


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Business
7:27 pm
Thu April 25, 2013

Baton Rouge's Family Definition Ruled Unconstitutional

Since 1954, the definition of family has prohibited more than two people not related by blood, marriage, or legal adoption from sharing a house in East Baton Rouge Parish.

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Education
3:21 pm
Wed April 24, 2013

Committee Backs Delay of School Performance Score Changes

Performance scores starting with the current school year are set to rely heavily on the ACT. Results from the college entrance exam would account for 25 percent of a public high school’s score.

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Education
5:56 am
Wed April 17, 2013

School Counselor, Librarian Mandates to Stand

The state's top school board has dropped plans to do away with requirements for counselors and librarians at public schools.

The Dept. of Education had recommended the change as part of a continuing push to give more flexibility to local administrators. The reversal came as a surprise to the dozens of critics who flocked to the BESE meeting to voice impassioned opposition Tuesday.

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Vouchers on Trial
7:45 pm
Tue March 19, 2013

Whether Vouchers Short Public Schools Argued in La. Supreme Court

Louisiana's state Supreme Court heard arguments Tuesday in the case challenging the statewide school voucher program.

The justices' questions focused on whether the state constitution allows vouchers for private school tuition to be paid for through the MFP -- the formula used to calculate support for public schools.

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Vouchers on Trial
4:58 am
Mon March 18, 2013

Voucher Program Transforms Christian School

A voucher student considers an editing worksheet in Beverly Ortego's English intervention session.
Credit Amy Jeffries / WRKF

Tuesday, the state Supreme Court will hear arguments in a suit from local school boards and teachers unions wanting Louisiana's school voucher program thrown out.

The legal challenges came almost as soon as the program was passed last year as part of Gov. Bobby Jindal's education overhaul.

Despite that, Hosanna Christian Academy in Baton Rouge went all in.

The school took on almost 300 voucher students, nearly doubling its enrollment. And Hosanna is doing everything it can to make sure all those students can perform at grade level.


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Education
8:10 pm
Thu February 28, 2013

State Supt. Aims for Vouchers, With or Without School Funding Formula

The state Board of Elementary and Secondary Education is slated to approve the school funding formula next week. The new proposal, released Thursday, still pays for the voucher program with dollars that would otherwise go to local districts. But, state Supt. John White is pitching alternative financing that would skirt the formula.


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Education Overhaul
5:37 pm
Tue February 26, 2013

Watching the Charter School Movement Play Out

Credit Bloomsbury Press

Journalist Sarah Carr spent a year chronicling the lives of a skeptical teenager, a fresh-faced teacher, and a veteran principal in three separate charter schools in New Orleans for her new book, “Hope Against Hope.”

Some of the same players who orchestrated the makeover of public education in the Crescent City after Hurricane Katrina are trying to do the same thing in Baton Rouge, without the prompting of a natural disaster.

Supporters of the movement hold up charter schools as the salvation of American education. Critics say the overhaul will lead to its ruination. What Carr found was a lot of gray.


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