WRKF News

Amy Jeffries / Southern Education Desk

The big push for charter schools in Louisiana started after Hurricane Katrina. The state’s Recovery School District took over most of the public schools in New Orleans, and quickly issued charters.

With charter school enrollment up to nearly 3 million nationwide last year, Louisiana was still among the states adding the most students.

The Recovery School District has moved on to Baton Rouge, but, without a hurricane scattering teachers and students, charters really have to get parents to buy into the alternative they’re selling. It starts with pounding the pavement.

Louisiana Republicans may be united in a lot of things: gun rights, conservative fiscal policy, dislike of President Obama. But they’re no longer unified in their choice for state Attorney General.

“We voted to endorse Buddy Caldwell for re-election,” Woody Jenkins, chairman of the East Baton Rouge Parish Republican Party, announced Tuesday.

That conflicts with the endorsement the state GOP made last month.

“Jeff is the Republican in the race,” LA GOP chairman Roger Villere said, when announcing the endorsement of former congressman Jeff Landry in late July.

Mallory Falk / WWNO

Charter schools are changing American education. Some say for the better, some say the worse. This week the Southern Education Desk looks at the charter school movement throughout the south. We start in New Orleans, the testing ground for the movement. Nearly all the city's public schools have been converted into charters: publicly funded, but privately run. Now other districts are looking to New Orleans as a model for school reform. 


Centers for Disease Control

It’s called the “brain-eating” amoeba, and Naegleria fowleri has been found in three Louisiana water systems this summer.

“Where we’ve found most of the amoeba so far, in our testing, has been surface water,” State Public Health Officer Dr. Jimmy Guidry told the Baton Rouge Press Club Monday. He says the systems that have tested positive – St. Bernard Parish, Ascension District 1, and Schriever in Terrebonne Parish -- are boosting chlorine to kill the single-celled organisms and clean the pipes that carry water to homes and businesses.

Louisiana's Treasury Department holds onto unclaimed property for citizens. Last Saturday, they had an awareness day at the mall.


S. Lincoln

“We got new terms. Now we’ve got like ‘Super-PACs’, right?” NAACP attorney Alfreda Bester told Leaders With Vision during their informational luncheon on campaign finance last week.

But what are Super-PACs? Technically, under Louisiana law, they don’t exist.

“State law just calls everything a ‘political committee’,” Louisiana Board of Ethics administrator Kathleen Allen explained. “If you’ve got two or more persons supporting or opposing candidates, they’re just called a political committee.”

Roux Radio 8/21

Aug 21, 2015

On this week's show, renewal in Gardere, revamping the tax code and a shortage of primary care doctors.


Gardere, a neighborhood synonymous with poverty, blight and crime, is changing for the better. Overall crime has declined in the last four years. A group of residents are working to make the area safer, smarter and friendlier.


Sue Lincoln

As F. King Alexander begins his third year leading the LSU System, he talks with Sue Lincoln about what he really expected when he took the job. He puts higher education funding concerns in perspective, and shares his goals for the years to come.

Claiborne Hill Veterinary Hospital

What do Louisiana’s statewide elected officials do when they’re off the clock?  Agriculture Commissioner Mike Strain invited me out to Covington, to show me.

“The main building here is over 10,500 square feet now,” Strain said, as he looked fondly at Claiborne Hill Veterinary Hospital.

“How big was it when you started?” I asked.

“15-hundred,” he said, as we walked in the front doors.

“These are the original doors. Just think how many times they have open and closed for healing, over the past 31 years,” he said with a smile, as a parakeet in a cage on the front counter began to chatter at him.

Pages