Jindal taking back federal money from local school districts

Thursday, November 11, 2010 - 5:21pm

BATON ROUGE, La (WVLA)--The fight over education dollars in Louisiana is now spreading to local school boards.

The Jindal administration is telling school superintendents they won't get an expected $147 million in federal education money.

While hundreds stormed the Capitol Wednesday to protest cuts to higher ed, State Superintendent Paul Pastorek was telling school districts about cuts of their own.

"Still trying to get at what's happening," says Joyce Haynes, president of the Louisiana Association of Educators. ".. if this is allowable."

Nearly $150 million was set aside for lousiana schools earlier this year.  Now Governor Jindal says he wants to use the money to plug some of the holes in higher education.

"It's robbing Peter to pay Paul," says Haynes.  "But then you're hurting Peter as well as Paul."

Trouble is, some of that money has already been spent.  Districts were promised the money months ago.
And many had already made plans to use it. 

"A  lot of school districts brought back teachers to fill the void in terms of a reduction in force," says Nolton Senegal, Sr with the LA School Boards Association.

Now those same teachers are facing another round of layoffs.  It's something Haynes says can't happen.

"Puts you right back where you were, in distress."

She and other organizations are wondering if the move is even legal, since one of the rules for getting the money was to show the governor wasn't reducing education funding.

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