Jindal seeks option for students who plan to skip Common Core tests

Gov. Bobby Jindal on Friday urged Louisiana’s top school board to let students who plan to skip Common Core tests in March take alternate assessments. Jindal, in an executive order, said such a move is preferrable to “penalizing students, teachers and schools and jeopordizing our statewide accountability system.” State education leaders have said that students who skip the tests March 16-20 will trigger scores of zero for the school and district on annual performance ratings.… Continue reading →

Politics blog: Gov Jindal will fully fund TOPS

Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal speaks to a crowd, Saturday, Jan. 24, 2015, in Baton Rouge. (AP Photo/Jonathan Bachman)

Though the Jindal administration is looking at cutting governments 15 percent to 20 percent, cutting healthcare budgets and slashing state support for colleges and universities, TOPS will not be touched. The popular merit-based scholarship, Taylor Opportunity Program for Students will be fully funded, the state Division of Administration said in a press statement Friday. TOPS pays tuition and some fees qualified students to the state’s public universities and colleges. To read the complete blog entry, Continue reading →

Stephanie Grace: State's budget problems can't wait for Jindal to leave

Advocate staff file photo by BILL FEIG -- Aerial of the new State Capitol building and grounds.

In speaking to lawmakers over the last couple of years, I’ve heard a common refrain from both House and Senate members, Republicans and Democrats: Just wait until Gov. Bobby Jindal leaves office. Then — finally, they say — they’ll be able to stop factoring Jindal’s national ambitions into Louisiana’s precarious budget equation. Then, and only then, will they be able to do what needs to be done to… Continue reading →

Jindal: State to honor $4.5 million pledge to UL-Lafayette’s computing and informatics school

Advocate staff photo by BRYAN TUCK -- Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal speaks with dignitaries before a press conference announcing the construction of a new IT business Tuesday in Lafayette.

Although Louisiana’s public colleges face up to $300 million in state funding cuts next fiscal year, the state will fulfill a pledge to funnel $4.5 million over the next decade to the University of Louisiana at Lafayette’s computing and informatics school, the governor said Tuesday. The deal is part of what led Montreal-based information technology company CGI to establish a location in Lafayette, where Gov. Bobby Jindal visited Tuesday to attend CGI’s groundbreaking ceremony.… Continue reading →

Jindal considering cuts to college fund he pushed to create

Advocate staff file photo by HILARY SCHEINUK -- La. Gov. Bobby Jindal

When it was created last year, a $40 million incentive fund to pay for college programs that fill high-demand jobs in Louisiana was hailed as critical to both higher education and the state’s workforce needs. Now, with the state grappling with deep budget problems, Gov. Bobby Jindal is proposing to strip financing from the fund that only months ago he described as among his top priorities. At Jindal’s urging, lawmakers set… Continue reading →