Thursday, January 13, 2011

Jindal says he will propose company schools

Governor Jindal's legislative agenda will include an expansion of charter schools, one which will allow an unprecedented intrusion of the business community into the charter school movement, according to this article by Times-Picayune reporter Ed Anderson.

Speaking at the annual meeting of the Louisiana Association of Business and Industry, the governor said he wants a new law allowing businesses to house charter schools on their property, to stack charter school boards with representatives of the businesses, and to give preferred attendance to children of the business' employees.

Lawmakers attending the meeting said they had no advance notice of the plan, and thus far no one has seen the actual language that will be proposed by the governor.

It is difficult to take a position on the plan before a specific bill, with details, is introduced. Just a year ago, Gov. Jindal said that his signature legislation for 2010 would be a Red Tape Reduction Act, aimed at easing the paperwork burden on teachers. But when the actual bill was introduced, it dealt with allowing school boards to opt out of state education law and policy, with no mention of teachers and paperwork.

The 2011 legislative session is supposed to be dedicated to fiscal issues, but each lawmaker is allowed to introduce up to five non-fiscal bills. The governor has no lack of allies who will be willing to bring his plan before the session.

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