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Tepid response to flouting better than nothing

Today the Louisiana Board of Regents for Higher Education emulated academia when its mandarins encounter a substantial decision that will trigger controversial change – it punted.

Sounding like students who didn’t realize the gravity of an assignment and so didn’t start working on it until too late, enough members of the Board said they wanted more time to complete the task. By consent, they put off dealing with changes to the implementation and enforcement of admission by exception rules until next month.

This started a couple of years ago when unilateral changes made by Louisiana State University Baton Rouge saw the proportion of its admitted students not meeting entrance standards promulgated by the Board go above its permitted four percent limit. The exceptions cohort graduated at a significantly lower rate, bolstering the argument that they should have attended other state universities with lower admissions bars.


White leaves impressive LA education legacy

Louisiana looks set to lose a key actor in its struggle to provide a quality education to its children.

State Superintendent of Education John White will resign after just over eight years on the job. He has served longer than any appointed superintendent, and the longest since the four elected terms of Shelby Jackson that ended in 1964.

White has earned his departure, since he found turbulence in his job almost from the start. Actually already part of the state’s educational scene as superintendent of the state’s Recovery School District which then existed only in New Orleans when given the state’s top job, he had a mission to implement long-reaching reforms passed into law only months into his tenure, changes bitterly opposed by many in an educational establishment and its allies who had overseen over the decades Louisiana’s plunge to the bottom.


LA needs to deregulate energy sales soon

Louisiana has a chance to correct a mistake it made two decades that could rein in electricity price increases.

Last month, the state’s Public Service Commission voted to study the impact of forthcoming rate increases. These appear guaranteed as the generating infrastructure of investor-owned utilities, specifically the state’s largest supplier Entergy, has aged, necessitating large-scale replacement. Legally, utilities may pass these costs over time to consumers, from residential to industrial.

A consortium of two dozen large industrial users, which altogether use a substantial amount of the state’s power, maintain that the conversion would increase rates by 50 percent. They have argued they should have the choice to leave the monopoly system historically favored by the PSC, which locks in a provider to a customer. Entergy in 2018 provided 79 percent of all power for industrial use.


Future reprieve from LA seat loss unlikely

It looks like Louisiana won’t drop any more congressional seats this time around on the census. But the way things are going, expect that to change in 2030.

That’s the conclusion you can draw from how reapportionments appear a year out from digestion of census data to be collected Apr. 1. Alabama, California, Illinois, Michigan, Minnesota, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island and West Virginia look poised to lose at least one seat in the House of Representatives, while states seeming ready to gain at least one include Arizona, Colorado, Florida, Montana, North Carolina, Oregon, and Texas.

On a per capita basis, Louisiana has been the biggest loser since 1990. It has shrunk from eight to six seats, although states with much larger populations have lost more seats. And there’s a reason for shrinking populations, a review of fiscal data shows: policies that damage state economies, which consequentially puts state finances under stress, discourage residency compared to states with sounder economic agendas.