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.
Law firm unveils newly renovated 200-year-old building.
UL grad named web developer at BBR Creative
Lafayette-based emergency department staffing and management company raises $120 million in senior credit facilities through GE Capital, Healthcare Financial Services.
High-rise apartment building, parking garage, hotel and retail part of new development.
The number of Louisianans with jobs continued to set records in September, but the state's unemployment rate kept rising as new job seekers keep entering the market.
Louisiana is drowning, quickly.
An investment group led by Macquarie Infrastructure and Real Assets will buy the Louisiana power company Cleco for $3.4 billion.
Local developer’s Lake Charles Gardens LLC purchases buildings and leases; land still owned by Dugas family.
Economist Loren Scott says Louisiana is in the midst of an industrial boom unlike any other in its history, with more than $100 billion in industrial projects either under construction or in the engineering and design phase.
The Louisiana Treasury holds $18 million in Israel Bonds — bonds that earn 2.868 percent when the three-year U.S. Treasury is yielding 1.08 percent.
ABiz celebrates another class of Acadiana's most influential female trailblazers, the Lourdes Foundation honors a local philanthropist and MedExpress in Opelousas celebrates its 22nd year as the “little ambulance service that could.”
Is Louisiana’s O&G industry ready to head south of the border?
Downtown’s newest live-work space for creatives doubles as a gallery for other upcoming artists to show their work.
A maritime case originating in Lafayette federal court could become a game changer for the oil and gas industry.
Here’s what’s at stake in the November Senate race — regardless of whether Republicans gain control of the upper chamber.
From the publisher’s in-box: ABiz reaches out to Lake Charles, time to “Come Home, Louisiana,” and now accepting nominations for Entrepreneur of the Year.
In late September Cleco and UL Lafayette showed off the Cleco Alternative Energy Center, where researchers explore ways to generate power by using renewable resources.
The most recent promotions, hirings and announcements from Acadiana's biz community.
While Amendments 1 and 2 will shield some health care providers from the budgetary whims of Gov. Jindal, they could make higher ed even more vulnerable to cuts.
Age 60 looks good on the country’s second-largest oil and gas show.
Local pieces and logo-emblazoned corporate gifts
Let’s show how much we care what it looks like.
The Memphis based investment firm Wunderlich recently arrived in Louisiana with the opening of a wealth management branch in Lafayette.
Broussard will soon be the site of a new Courtesy Automotive dealership.
Event addresses the industry’s growing need for qualified employees by providing an industry specific networking event.