Preschool access won't expand with the money. The dollars will plug part of a budget hole created when federal stimulus funding that had been used for the program disappeared.
The state pays the costs for 16,000 4-year-olds to enroll in the pre-K program, according to Barry Landry, spokesman for the state education department. The hurricane recovery money would pay for at-risk students from 20 parishes that were damaged by Gustav and Ike, according to the proposal, which will be submitted to HUD in October.
Rep. Simone Champagne, R-Jeanerette, tells AP she has nothing against the LA4 program, but describes the governor's push as a misuse of those funds. Champagne says the Department of Education should go back to the drawing board and figure out another way for filling the gaps in the LA4 program's budget.
Champagne says many of the residents in her district whose homes flooded during Ike and Gustav, as well as Hurricane Rita in 2005, still await funding to elevate their homes — delays that are largely the result of the beauracratic hoops and barrels people have had to jump through when applying for the relief money.
The funds in question, though, were distributed by HUD, while the Home Elevation Program is a FEMA-funded initiative, Michael DiResto, spokesman for the governor's division of administration, tells the IND Monthly.
Yet, Champagne tells the IND Monthly that those funds could have been used for the home elevation project, but only by approval of the state Legislature, which denied her request during this year's session.
"I really believe if we don't start using the money properly, we'll continue to have people unprotected from storms," says Champagne. "There are still unmet needs in the hurricane-related parishes. We still have hundreds of people, homeowners, that need to elevate their homes."
Paul Rainwater, commissioner of administration and Jindal's top budget advisor, defended the reallocation of the money, telling AP it will still benefit people affected by the 2008 hurricanes.
According to Rainwater, the LA4 program, like the home elevation program, aids people impacted by Ike and Gustav by providing free child care to parents out-of-work as a result of the 2008 hurricanes.
Rainwater argues that without the LA4 program, thousands of parents living in areas impacted by the hurricanes would be forced to either take on the costs of childcare themselves, or be forced to quit their jobs, thus hurting the state's workforce.
Rainwater's statement makes sense. But so does Champagnes' argument for the need to elevate homes in those affected areas.
Read the full AP article here.
The lawsuit filed in New Orleans alleges that more than half the Social Security numbers on Mikal Watts’ client list were fake — either dummy numbers or numbers belonging to someone else, living or dead.
Industry veteran named GM and CEO of Cypress Bayou's casino and hotel operations.
The IND's directory, the most comprehensive in the market, includes health clubs, gyms, health and sports drinks, medical fitness facilities, and studios and classes to keep you healthy and fit in the new year.
More local companies expected to take advantage of economic boom.
The National Conference of State Legislatures estimates $800 million of sales tax revenue annually in Louisiana is not collected and remitted by internet vendors.
State Treasurer John Kennedy argues in a new op-ed emailed to media Tuesday that, with an anticipated $100 million surplus from the last fiscal year, Louisiana should invest the funds in I-49 South.
The Supreme Court won't decide if the Obama administration violated a judge's order that struck down its temporary moratorium on deep water drilling after BP's 2010 oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.
On Friday LOGA filed suit against Louisiana AG Buddy Caldwell, claiming he illegally approved a New Orleans flood protection board’s contract with lawyers suing 97 oil, gas and pipeline companies for damaging the state's coast.
The major deals that shaped the business scene this year.
Far from an overnight success, ABiz Entrepreneur of the Year Lenny Lemoine helped build a successful construction company the old-fashioned way: through hard work, determination and cultivating relationships.
Recent hires, promotions and news from the world of Acadiana business
From a chili cook-off to author Scott Turow to honoring Acadiana's top philanthropists
Local optometrist transforms Oil Center space.
Third quarter EPI bests second quarter 2013 and comparable quarter last year.
You might want to think twice before sending a text to someone you know is driving and likely to read it immediately.
An ordinance phasing out a rebate Lafayette businesses receive for collecting and remitting sales taxes is tabled, but it doesn’t solve the vexing issue of government revenue in the city and parish, and hopefully it will spark some serious discussions about our pressing needs.
Amount generated by the state’s 2013 tax amnesty program, more than double some estimates
Oilfield services company Baker Hughes Inc. says the number of rigs exploring for oil and natural gas in the U.S. increased to 1,782.
September's $509 million in sales pushed Lafayette Parish's nine-month total to $4.4 billion.
The New Orleans architect behind the 1984 World’s Fair also left his mark on Lafayette.
Fort Worth company's new facility at Lafayette Regional Airport will build helicopters primarily for the export market.
Could River Ranch restaurant be the next star?
Move over Hooters — there’s a new breastaurant coming to town.
Funds will expand Early College Academy from 250 to 1,000 students
Oilfield services company Baker Hughes Inc. says the number of rigs exploring for oil and natural gas in the U.S. increased by 12 this week to 1,775.