BESE member Chas Roemer is attacking Gov. Bobby Jindal for playing political games with the state's education system. Roemer, a Baton Rouge Republican, says that Jindal, a Baton Rouge Republican, is unwilling to "risk some political capital" to improve schools, according to Advocate reporter Will Sentell.
The cause of the split is a pair of legislative bills aimed at creating a separate diploma track for students at risk of dropping out and who obviously have no intention of going to college. The plan by Sen. Bob Kostelka and Rep. Jim Fannin has some legs - it's been endorsed by education committees in both houses. The two lawmakers say a separate track is necessary to bring down the state's unacceptably high (as high as 50%) school dropout rate.
The issue has apparently driven a wedge between the governor and State Superintendent of Education Paul Pastorek. While Jindal and Pastorek have been inseparable on school issues this year, the governor is now apparently supporting the Kostelka/Fannin plan.
Could Pastorek, whose popularity with legislators is in the cellar, wind up in a political wilderness with only Chas Roemer to give him comfort?