Why is it that for over three years the Jindal administration has squandered over $ 1.5 million on out-of-state lawyers to attack the legal interests of parents?

These citizens have requested that schools in Orleans Parish provide services to children with disabilities as mandated in state and federal law. It is well-established that early interventions for such children can make them more independent and drastically reduces subsequent costs later in life. If the million-plus dollars had been invested in the schools, we would all be better off, and there would be no need for expensive litigation.

As a psychologist, I appreciate how challenging daily life is for the parents of children with special needs. It is unconscionable that our elected leaders have chosen to make parents’ lives more difficult. Sadly, the legal situation is far from resolved and the meter continues to run up costs for us all, the taxpayers.

This clearly is a losing situation for us all except for the attorneys. The question in my mind is why? What is it that Jindal expects to get from this futile and wasteful exercise?

If this assault on education in the state is not bad enough, now Jindal has decided to play politics with our children’s educational standards. His unilateral attack on Common Core clearly has no basis in accepted educational practice.

The Common Core standards are not being imposed by some mythical “Big Brother.” These standards were devised by groups of educators from across the country. They are best-practice educational standards. They have been endorsed as minimal benchmarks to improve the knowledge base of our students.

They have been enthusiastically endorsed by educators, business professionals and knowledgeable parents. They are not political in any way and should not be recast in such a way by the governor for his own purposes. They need to be implemented for the good of our children.

It is time to extract petty politics and focus on the future of ALL of our young citizens and their families!

Not only has the governor taken such incomprehensible steps, but he has done so against the recommendation of Superintendent John White and BESE.

Despite the amount of money the governor has spent on denying parents their rights, he (is) now trying to circumvent the governmental process by withholding funds that would allow the Department of Education to proceed with the Common Core.

Happily, the Choice Foundation and others are stepping up to fund the challenge against Jindal’s myopic practices.

Robert B. Fischer


New Orleans