Adding to the woes of Louisiana schools is Federal interference. “It has never been the role of the Federal Government to tell local school boards and local communities how to run schools.” – Bobby Jindal, U. S. Congressman.
“We are simply not doing enough to provide our residents with quality healthcare.”
Glenda Elford, a Downsville High School teacher, educated in Union Parish with 15 years of teaching experience asked, “We are going through dire straits because unfunded Federal mandates and State neglect are bankrupting our local school systems. What can you do?” Without a moments hesitation, Bobby Jindal replied, “I am not a fan of ‘No Child Left Behind’. I was not in Congress when it was passed but would not have voted for it in the first place. When it comes up for renewal, I intend to vote against the reauthorization of ‘No Child Left Behind’.”
“A one-size fits all approach from Washington is the wrong way to approach education.”
“All we have done is grow bureaucracy, not improve the quality of education.”
“We need more technical training in Louisiana.” – Congressman Bobby Jindal
Morphing easily from education to jobs, Bobby Jindal is well aware of the connection between the two. Without a better educational system, Louisiana will not be able to provide the training necessary to sustain new business in Louisiana that will be needed to provide jobs.
Bobby pointed out that, “Louisiana now has more people moving out of the State than is moving into the State. We have jobs we cannot fill as our childrenÂ are moving out of the State.”
Few things highlight the State neglect and disproportionate allocations for education suffered by Northeast Louisiana than the Community College system in Louisiana. Even local politicians, while praising the Delta Community College, admitted that the State has failed in growing the educational systems of Northeast Louisiana. It is this lack of educational opportunities that was partially blamed for the loss of a proposed Toyota plant in Richland Parish.
“We need more technical training in Louisiana. I love it when kids go to college, but not all kids want to go”, says Jindal, who went on to say that “80% of the kids in California go to technical community colleges. In Louisiana, only 20% go to technical community college.” This glaring fact shows that Louisiana has long needed a change in the way our children our educated and trained to better facilitate job growth in Louisiana.
“No, it is going to be a long drive, but my wife has got three kids on the other end by herself, so she has it worse.”
Along with education, the removal of anti-business taxes is a must. Bobby Jindals common sense approach to business, in relation to government interference, is easily summed up by saying, “if government is the obstacle to job growth, that obstacle needs to be removed.” A simple example is a north Louisiana employer that pays $250,000 a year in taxes that he would not have to pay if he would just move his business a few miles across the state line into Arkansas. It is this type of lunacy that is killing job growth in Louisiana that has numerous business taxes that our neighboring states do not have. It simply has to stop.
With the abundant need for jobs, Bobby Jindal says that the easiest and quickest way to turn this problem around will be to invest in the infrastructure of Louisiana. Louisiana is receiving a tremendous amount of “one-time” money that will be wasted if that money is spent on recurring expenses. Wasting that money on recurring expenses will leave our infrastructure in the deplorable condition it is in now, and will put us in a position of needing to raise taxes even more to continue programs that will do nothing to improve our highways, schools or healthcare systems.
By investing in our highways, some of the worst in the entire country, we can put our residents to work, attract new business with more jobs, and protect our children forced to ride buses on the worst highways Louisiana has to offer.
By investing in solving our coastal erosion problems we can put more residents to work and address a problem long overdue for rational thinking. Bobby is well aware of the need to address coastal erosion and that the solutions that have been offered will not work alone, but in concert will offer a better solution to a problem that demands immediate action.
Bobby Jindal is committed to protecting and improving Louisiana’s infrastructure and in his recent visit to NELA, made note of the inequities suffered by north Louisiana in appropriated funds from Baton Rouge in favor of south Louisiana. While at the Downsville Community Meeting, Bobby was asked this pointed question. “Of the twenty worst school systems in Louisiana, NINE are in Northeast Louisiana. When you drive to Farmerville after this meeting, you will drive on the most dangerous section of LA Hwy 15 in the entire State. When Toyota considered NELA as its new location for a new auto plant, Gov. Blanco took a vacation to Japan. When steel manufacturer, ThyssenKrupp, announced they were considering building in south Louisiana, Blanco threw $400,000,000.00 in their face to entice the new development. What will Bobby Jindal do to correct this imbalance?”Bobby Jindal made it abundantly clear that NELA has suffered badly from neglect and that neglect has got to stop. His focus will be on the whole State. It was the whole State that suffered from Katrina and Rita and we simply cannot allow NELA, or any other part of the state to slip through the cracks because too much attention is being paid to particular parts of this state. The State needs to grow together.
Bobby went on to say, “Look who has visited this part of the state repeatedly, and look who is here now.” Just Bobby’s busy schedule visiting NELA during Easter break is a clear indicator who really cares for the success of Northeast Louisiana.
“We are simply not doing enough to provide our residents with quality healthcare.” – Bobby Jindal.
In only three years, as head of the Dept of Hospitals and Human Services, Bobby turned a $400Million DEFICIT into an over $200Million SURPLUS. The waste was rampant and Bobby put a stop to it.
Few areas in Louisiana need more attention than our healthcare system, and that is why Bobby has given it such a high priority. Like education, healthcare is tied to the issue of jobs, making all three issues interconnected, and like so many issues in Louisiana, Bobby Jindal’s common sense is needed badly.
Like in so many areas, Louisiana is at the bottom in healthcare and the fourth worst in emergency care.
The healthcare system in Louisiana is riddled with inconsistencies and illogical reasoning. How unfortunate that a dozen other states have found success in models created by Bobby Jindal, but through obvious partisan politics, the present administration of Louisiana has ignored these models in order to prevent any credit going to Bobby Jindal.
Bobby illustrated well that present policy dealt with healthcare issues too late to be effective and actually worsened healthcare by ignoring preventative medicine. In Louisiana if you don’t have a job, the State will step in and provide assistance, but as soon as you get a job, no matter if you can afford insurance or not, the State will not provide any help. “This is the craziest thing I’ve ever seen”, says Jindal. Bobby went on to say that there was much to be done to improve healthcare in Louisiana and he will keep this issue on a front burner until the necessary changes are made.
Bobby Jindal The Man
When studying Bobby Jindal as a person, there are two glaring characteristics that are a pleasure to witness. Bobby is a strong Christian, and the love of his family could not be stronger. Bobby has no shyness in admitting that he prayed for guidance in deciding to run for Governor. For the ordinary man, considering running for Governor would likely bring self-laughter, and if those considerations became stronger, mental health would be their next concern. To expose oneself to such examination would weaken the strongest among us, and to subject one’s family to that lifestyle is a lot to ask of any spouse.
Lucky for Louisiana, Bobby’s wife, Supriya, recognizes Bobby’s passion and a higher Calling to help his State that cannot be held back, and actually mirrors her own hopes for Louisiana.
While speaking to Bobby after the Farm Bureau Annual Meeting in Farmerville, LA, I told Bobby that I did not envy his long drive to Metairie, which he said, “No, it is going to be a long drive, but my wife has got three kids on the other end by herself, so she has it worse.” This statement alone paints the picture of a man totally committed to his family and when a man has his priorities in this configuration; it is inconceivable that he would do anything to jeopardize their environment.
When asked, “What was it like to deliver your own child?”, Bobby, being very consistent, first said laughing, “it was tougher on my wife than me”. I quickly told him that I wasn’t certain that I could do it, but in a very modest fashion, Bobby explained, “The closest equivalent I can think of is let’s say you were driving by and saw somebody have an accident, you are going to stop and help. People say that ‘oh, I’m squeamish around blood’, you maybe but if you are the only person there, you’re going to help. You can’t leave that person. And if you wakeup and your wife is in pain and screaming at you, you better help! You do what you need to do!”
Not only does this statement show a loving husband that would never dream of abandoning his pregnant wife, but it shows another side of Bobby Jindal that simply believes that there is good in all people and believes that goodness will takeover in a time of crisis.
Like two men would, I jokingly asked, “So whose shoestring was it?” It was widely reported that in their moment of crisis, a 911 nurse talked Bobby through the delivery of Slade Ryan Jindal, and when told to tie off the umbilical cord, Bobby handed his new son to his wife, grabbed a shoestring and tied off the umbilical cord. It was not so much what he said at this point, but how he said it. Bobby said it was just an old shoestring, but then his face lit up with the amazement of the birth, admitting his inexperience but clearly showing this made a very lasting impression on him.
On the subject of campaigning, I told Bobby of the concerns some have had that he did not confront Governor Blanco when she chose to take the lowroad and resorted to negative campaigning in the previous election. Many believe that this cost Bobby the election. I asked, “are you going to standby and allow your opponents to disparage your character without any response?” Bobby was quick to reply that counting on the Democrats to run a respectable campaign was a mistake. Bobby went on to say that, “we won’t make that mistake again. We might make different mistakes, but we won’t make the same mistakes.” Considering how Democrats have campaigned in the past, this was a welcomed reply.
Finishing up the interview was my admittedly, but only somewhat facetious question, “Will you promise here today, that you will serve a full eight years before seeking the Presidency?” Laughingly, Bobby responded, “I will serve a full eight years, but I am NOT seeking the Presidency! I will tell you that right here.” I told Bobby that I didn’t mind him running for President, but his response was clear. “I want to serve my State. I think that (running for President) is a Calling. I think you have to feel God is calling you to do that, and I have prayed about this decision to run for Governor, and I am running for Governor. I will serve a full eight years if the people are kind enough to reelect me, but, I will leave the Presidency for others. My passion is Louisiana. My family is here and I want to change my State.”
For this writer, I will start now in hoping that, after eight successful years as Governor, God will see greater opportunities for Bobby Jindal to change his State, and hopefully, as President of the United States.
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