Friday, June 29, 2012

CABL splits hairs on education "reform"

Back when the Council for a Better Louisiana was a serious good-government watchdog, it would have gone after Gov. Bobby Jindal and the Louisiana Legislature hammer and tong over this session's egregious flaunting of the State Constitution.

Instead, CABL President Barry Erwin chose in this Shreveport Times op-ed to split hairs between the intent of LFT lawsuits challenging Governor Jindal's radical assault on public education and the value of the so-called reforms themselves.

The column breezily asserts that "the policies (in the new laws) are sound...Louisiana will have a strong new set of tools to help increase educational opportunities."

But as LFT President Steve Monaghan demonstrated in this response to the CABLE column, those assertions were left untested because of the brazen power play by which Gov. Jindal and his allies - including CABL - muscled the laws through the legislature.

"No open, honest debate of important public policy was allowed," Monaghan wrote. "The 2012 Legislative Session was an expression of, and a lesson on, raw political power."

It was an up or down, for us or against us, utterly unserious exercise that cheated our children and our schools of the policy discussions that public education deserves.

And that begs the question. If the governor behind this year's education bills had been named Edwin Edwards and not Bobby Jindal, would CABL have laid its credibility on the line and pledged blind allegiance as it did?

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