Today the Louisiana Board
of Regents for Higher Education emulated academia when its mandarins
encounter a substantial decision that will trigger controversial change – it
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
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.
Louisiana has a chance to correct a mistake it made
two decades that could rein in electricity price increases.
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.
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.