WRKF News

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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Capitol Access
8:28 am
Thu May 23, 2013

Frugal Committee Backs Capital Investment for Community Colleges

The House Appropriations Committee Wednesday approved $60 million in capital spending for the state’s technical colleges over the next five years — despite the state’s tight purse-strings.

Chairman Jim Fannin insisted that investing in the technical college system will grow the economy and the tax base.

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Capitol Access
5:30 am
Wed May 22, 2013

Public School Funding Plan Rejected Twice

Next year’s method for funding for public schools is a bit up in the air after the Senate Education Committee rejected the proposed formula from the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education.

The formula, called the Minimum Foundation Program, or the MFP, was shot down last week because of a clerical error: BESE sent the legislature a draft of the MFP rather the final version.

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Capitol Access
5:30 am
Tue May 21, 2013

Lawmakers Weigh Medicaid Options

A House bill that aims to secure state health care spending passed out of the Senate Finance committee yesterday.

The measure would create the "Hospital Stabilization Fund," which would utilize some hospital profits to draw down more federal dollars to help with uninsured patients.

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Capitol Access
5:30 am
Mon May 20, 2013

Budget Woes Left to Tackle

Friday, the Senate Finance Committee continued to comb through the budget, and discovered there’s a lot left to fund this session.

To get a summary, Senator Fred Mills asked Legislative Fiscal Officer John Carpenter to detail the five top worries that keep him up at night.

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Capitol Access
9:25 am
Fri May 17, 2013

Some Senators Puzzled by Tax Amnesty Solution

In the Finance committee Thursday Senators questioned the way the House filled the hole it dug in the proposed budget for next year. The House took out one-time money, from selling state property, court settlements, and dedicated funds, and put in a tax amnesty program.

The Legislative Fiscal Office usually considers tax amnesty revenues to be one-time money too.

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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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Capitol Access
9:32 am
Thu May 16, 2013

Voucher Funding in Limbo

Hundreds of parents, children, teachers and administrators rallied on the steps of the Capitol calling on lawmakers to find a new way to fund private school vouchers, chanting "You promised/ to put kids first."

The old way to fund vouchers was ruled unconstitutional by the State Supreme Court last week because it routed money through a formula -- called the MFP -- that is dedicated to public schools.

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Culture
6:00 am
Thu May 16, 2013

Café Bard Plays Among Antiques

Garrett McCutchan is a multi-instrumentalist and world traveler. His material is contained in a binder of yellowed, coffee-stained pages. And it's the music in the background at one of Baton Rouge's hidden lunch spots.

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Capitol Access
8:42 am
Wed May 15, 2013

Southeast School District Could Cost State

 

A slice of East Baton Rouge Parish, south of I-12 and north of I-10, is a step closer to having its own school district.

 

The House Education Committee passed the set of bills needed to establish the breakaway district. Approval now falls to the Appropriations committee next to evaluate cost.

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