Sunday, February 7, 2010

Bobby Jindal's big school flip-fop

Just a year ago, Gov. Bobby Jindal and his minions seemed to believe that school boards were the root of all evil. So incompetent and intrusive were school boards that the governor and Superintendent of Education Paul Pastorek prevailed upon freshman legislator Steve Carter to introduce a package of bills that would have stripped local school boards of most of their authority. Joining Jindal and Pastorek in their crusade against local school boards were the Louisiana Association of Business and Industry and the Council for a Better Louisiana.

This year, Jindal and his cohorts are flipping like flapjacks. At a press conference attended by Pastorek, Carter LABI and CABL, the governor announced that there are too many restrictions on local school boards. His new legislative package seeks to empower school boards by allowing them to opt out of state laws and policies deemed "burdensome regulations ... that may hinder academic growth."

Judging from the governor's press release, it looks like one big target of the legislation is teacher tenure. That is another big flip-flop. The state's Jindal-approved application for federal Race to the Top funds aims to ensure that tenure “is a meaningful and active process” with “respect and value.”

The administration is no stranger to hypocritical flip-flops, though. This is the same bunch that touts education as the key to economic development while simultaneously stripping higher education budgets, eliminating programs and whole departments.

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