WRKF News

LSU Hospitals
3:00 pm
Thu March 21, 2013

Bond Issues For Privatized LSU Hospitals No Longer Tax-Exempt

Plans to privatize most of LSU’s public hospitals are making repairs and construction to the facilities more expensive.

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Citizens Property Insurance Corp.
3:00 pm
Thu March 21, 2013

Bond Commission Takes No Action On Citizens' Request

Representatives from the state-established Louisiana Citizens Property Insurance Corporation told the State Bond Commission on Thursday that if they operated like a regular insurance company and another storm hit, they’ll be insolvent.

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State Budget 2013
3:00 pm
Wed March 20, 2013

La. State Police Defend Remaining Operating Budget

State police officials came before the House Appropriations Committee on Wednesday to defend what's left of their proposed operating budget.

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Pensions
12:27 pm
Wed March 20, 2013

Jindal's Pension Overhaul Reaches State Supreme Court

The state Supreme Court heard arguments Tuesday on the constitutionality of Gov. Bobby Jindal’s pension overhaul passed by the legislature last session.

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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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Education
9:03 am
Tue March 19, 2013

Vouchers Threaten Public School's Turnaround

Winbourne Elementary Principal Brenda Wilkinson
Credit Amy Jeffries / WRKF

The state Supreme Court hears arguments Tuesday in a case against the statewide school voucher program.

At issue is whether private school tuition can be paid for with the funds that would otherwise go to struggling public schools.

At Hosanna Christian Academy, the tuition is being used in the battle to bring voucher students up to grade level. Hosanna's intervention strategies were inspired by the turnaround efforts at public Winbourne Elementary.
 


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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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Tax Reform
3:41 pm
Fri March 15, 2013

Film Tax Credits Roll Out Jobs, Not State Revenue

Governor Jindal’s tax overhauls, presented to the legislature Thursday morning, include nixing almost 200 exemptions, and tweaking a few others – like the Motion Picture Industry Development Tax Credit.

Some members of the industry are worried the incentives will be at risk during upcoming debate in the legislature.


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Affordable Care Act
5:43 am
Fri March 15, 2013

PAR: More Info Needed to Make Medicaid Expansion Decision for Louisiana

Don Gregory, Principle Health Adviser for the Public Affairs Research Council of Louisiana
Credit WRKF

The state legislature’s Joint Insurance Committee met Wednesday to discuss the Affordable Care Act and two crucial, yet voluntary, measures: setting up state health insurance exchanges and expanding Medicaid.

At that meeting a representative from the Public Affairs Research Council said Louisiana doesn’t have enough information to make a truly informed decision on implementing the healthcare reform law.

PAR’s Principle Health Advisor Don Gregory recently authored a study about the research done so far on the implications of expanding Medicaid in Louisiana. He says other states have worked to figure out not just the costs, but also the benefits of insuring the uninsured.


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Education
3:25 pm
Thu March 14, 2013

School Turnaround Funds Repurposed

Federal funds dedicated to the turnaround of struggling Louisiana public schools have been repurposed.

The state Department of Education is using $5 million to issue grants to conceive new schools and allow high-performing schools to take on more students.

Almost 200,000 students are attending schools rated D or F. State Supt. John White said traditional public school systems that have been getting turnaround money are not drawing down that number.

“The pace of change has just not been fast enough for us not to consider a new path,” White said.  

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