The Legacy of Governor Blanco and Her Focus on Education | 08/23/19 | LSWI


WE SUPPORT SCIENCE AND ENGINEERING AT LOCAL SCHOOLS. TO BUILD A BRIGHTER PATH TO BETTER JOBS AND HELP PREPARE THE NEXT GENERATION. BECAUSE TOGETHER, WE POWER LIFE. ENTERGY. ADDITIONAL SUPPORT PROVIDED BY THE FRED B. AND RUTH B. SAN DIEGOER FOUNDATION AND ART MUSEUM, FOCUSING ON EMERGING LOUISIANA ARTISTS AND IS A CULTURAL CENTER FOR SOUTHWEST LOUISIANA AND THE FOUNDATION FOR EXCELLENCE IN LOUISIANA PUBLIC BROADCASTING WITH SUPPORT FROM VIEWERS LIKE YOU. CAPTIONING PERFORMED BY LNS CAPTIONING WWW.LNSCAPTIONING.COM IT WAS A VERY IMPORTANT LESSON TO WATCH SOMEONE BE A TRAIL BLAZER AND MAINTAIN A POSITIVE DISPOSITION. CELEBRATING THE LIFE OF FORMER GOVERNOR KATHLEEN BABINEAUX BLANCO. WE LEARN AS MUCH AS POSSIBLE AND CAN BE PREPARED FOR THE FUTURE. THE LEGACY OF THE POLICY CENTER THAT WILL BEAR HER NAME. GETTING EDUCATION RIGHT WOULD ABSOLUTELY BE A TRUE TESTAMENT OF HER LEGACY. WHY SHE’S REMEMBERED AS THE EDUCATION GOVERNOR. HI, EVERYONE. I’M ANDRE MOREAU. MY PARTNER NATASHA WILLIAMS IS ON ASSIGNMENT. MUCH MORE ON THOSE STORIES IN A MOMENT AS WE CELEBRATE AND HONOR THE LIFE OF FORMER GOVERNOR BLANCO ON THIS WEEK’S EDITION OF “SWI” AND THAT CELEBRATION IS OUR TOP HEADLINE. THREE DAYS OF PUBLIC EVENTS BEGAN HONORING THE LIFE OF FORMER GOVERNOR KATHLEEN BABINEAUX BLANCO, THE FIRST AND ONLY WOMAN TO SERVE AS GOVERNOR OF LOUISIANA. SHE DIED AT THE AGE OF 76 AFTER A YEARS-LONG BATTLE WITH CANCER. A CELEBRATION OF LIFE INTERFAITH SERVICE AT ST. JOSEPH CATHEDRAL IN BATON ROUGE THURSDAY MORNING WAS FOLLOWED BY A PROCESSION TO THE STATE CAPITOL FOR PUBLIC VISITATION. FOR TODAY AND TOMORROW, SERVICES MOVED TO LAFAYETTE AND ST. JOHN THE EVANGELIST CATHEDRAL. BLANCO WILL LIE IN STATE UNTIL A MASS OF CHRISTIAN BURIAL SATURDAY MORNING AT 11:00 A.M. FOLLOWED BY PRIVATE BURIAL. BEFORE WE CONTINUE OUR COVERAGE OF THE SERVICES AND LEGACY OF GOVERNOR BLANCO, LET’S TAKE A LOOK AT SOME OF THE OTHER HEADLINES MAKING NEWS ACROSS OUR STATE. LSU PRESIDENT F. KING ALEXANDER IS ENCOURAGING THE COLLEGE COMMUNITY TO CONTINUE REPORTING ANYTHING SUSPICIOUS, EVEN THOUGH A PREVIOUS REPORT OF A MAN WITH A GUN TURNED OUT TO BE A FALSE ALARM. ON TUESDAY, SOMEONE IN COATES HALL SAW A MAN WITH A GUN AND REPORTED IT. LSU POLICE LOCKED DOWN THE CAMPUS AND CONDUCTED A ROOM-BY-ROOM SEARCH OF THE BUILDING BEFORE DECLARING AN ALL CLEAR. IT TURNS OUT THE MAN WAS AN ARMED LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICER FROM THE LOUISIANA ATTORNEY GENERAL’S OFFICE. HE WAS IN PLAIN CLOTHES AND ON CAMPUS TO HELP EDUCATE STUDENTS ABOUT WAYS TO PROTECT THEMSELVES ONLINE. THE STATE DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH IS REPORTING THE FIRST NINE CASES IN HUMANS OF WEST NILE VIRUS, INCLUDING FIVE DANGEROUS INFECTIONS OF THE BRAIN AND SPINAL CORD. THOSE FIVE CASES INCLUDE TWO IN WASHINGTON PARISH AND ONE EACH IN EAST BATON ROUGE, ST. TAMMANY AND LIVINGSTON PARISHES. LAST YEAR, THE STATE’S FIRST CASES WERE REPORTED THE FIRST WEEK OF JULY AND BY THIS TIME LAST YEAR 53 CASES WERE REPORTED. DESPITE AN ONGOING CHALLENGE TO THE CONTRACT AWARDS, LOUISIANA’S HEALTH DEPARTMENT WANTS TO CONTINUE NEGOTIATING TERMS WITH FOUR COMPANIES CHOSEN TO MANAGE MEDICAID PATIENT CARE, SAYING DELAYS COULD PUT HEALTH SERVICES AT RISK. HEALTH SECRETARY REBEKAH GEE FILED THE REQUEST MONDAY WITH THE STATE’S CHIEF PROCUREMENT OFFICER. CONTRACT NEGOTIATIONS AUTOMATICALLY STALLED WHEN TWO LOSING BIDDERS FOR THE MULTIBILLION-DOLLAR DEALS FORMALLY PROTESTED THE AWARDS. GEE IS ASKING TO ALLOW HER AGENCY TO RESTART ITS WORK TO MOVE TO THE NEW CONTRACTS BY JANUARY. TWO WEEKS AFTER LOUISIANA PATIENTS BEGAN RECEIVING MEDICAL MARIJUANA, THE PROGRAM IS HUMMING ALONG WITHOUT SUPPLY DISRUPTION AND WITH THOUSANDS OF PEOPLE RECEIVING THE DRUG FOR MEDICAL USE. THE STATE REPORTEDLY HAS ABOUT 5,000 CANNABIS PATIENTS SO FAR. WE BECAME THE FIRST DEEP SOUTH STATE TO DISPENSE MEDICAL MARIJUANA ON AUGUST 6. FOUR YEARS AFTER STATE LAWMAKERS AGREED TO GIVE PATIENTS ACCESS TO MEDICINAL-GRADE POT. A PROPOSED $248 MILLION SETTLEMENT HAS BEEN REACHED IN A DECADE-OLD FEDERAL COURT CASE OVER DEFECTIVE CHINESE DRYWALL. THE DRYWALL DAMAGED HOMES AND MADE PEOPLE SICK. ATTORNEYS FOR PROPERTY OWNERS IN THE CLASS-ACTION LAWSUIT SAID IN A NEWS RELEASE THAT THOUSANDS OF HOMES AND CONDOS WERE BUILT USING THE DEFECTIVE DRYWALL BETWEEN 2005 AND 2008, MOST WERE IN FLORIDA, LOUISIANA, ALABAMA, MISSISSIPPI AND VIRGINIA. THE COAST GUARD WEDNESDAY BEGAN BURNING OFF OIL THAT SPILLED LAST WEEK IN A MARSH ABOUT 42 MILES SOUTH-SOUTHEAST OF NEW ORLEANS. ABOUT 800 TO 1,000 GALLONS OF OIL SPILLED LAST WEEK FROM A TIME ENERGY, LLC, FLOWLINE AT COX BAY IN PLAQUEMINES PARISH. FEDERAL REGULATORS PLAN TO DRAW DOWN AND SELL CRUDE OIL FROM STRATEGIC PETROLEUM RESERVE SITES IN TEXAS AND LOUISIANA. THE U.S. DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY ANNOUNCED THE SALE FROM SITES IN BRYAN BOUND AND BIG HILL, TEXAS, AND WEST HACKBERRY, LOUISIANA, UP TO 10 MILLION BARRELS WILL BE SOLD FROM BRYAN MOUND AND UP TO 5 MILLION FROM BIG HILL AND WEST HACKBERRY. ALSO IN THE NEWS, INSURANCE COMMISSIONER JIM DONELON HAS ISSUED A CEASE AND DESIST ORDER AGAINST STATE FARM. IT’S OVER HURRICANE DEDUCTIBLES FROM HURRICANE BARRY IN JULY. POLICY HOLDERS CLAIM STATE FARM WAS REQUIRING A HURRICANE DEDUCTIBLE FOR LOSSES THAT HAPPENED BEFORE THE STORM WAS DECLARED A HURRICANE JULY 13. MUCH IS BEING SAID ABOUT THE LEGACY OF FORMER GOVERNOR BLANCO. NATIONALLY, SHE’S KNOWN FOR WHAT HAPPENED DURING KATRINA AND HOW SHE LED THE STATE THROUGH THAT TIME. HER CELEBRATION OF LIFE PRESENTS A MORE ACCURATE, FULLER PICTURE OF HER, HER CHARACTER, HER DETERMINATION, HER FAITH. WE TAKE A LOOK BACK AT YESTERDAY’S SERVICES AND A LOOK AHEAD, HEARING MORE ABOUT THE KATHLEEN BABINEAUX BLANCO PUBLIC POLICY CENTER AT UL-LAFAYETTE AND HOW SHE DESCRIBED TO US HER VISION FOR THAT CENTER. ♪ THIS LITTLE LIGHT OF MINE, I’M GOING TO LET IT SHINE ♪ CHOIRS FROM ST. ALOYSIUS SCHOOL IN BATON ROUGE AND SOUTHERN UNIVERSITY SANG TO THE HEAVENS ON A HOT, SUNNY, AUGUST LOUISIANA MORNING. MY SISTERS AND BROTHERS IN THE LORD. HISTORIC ST. JOSEPH CATHEDRAL WAS FILLED WITH GOVERNOR BLANCO’S FRIENDS, COLLEAGUES, AND LAWMAKERS PRESENT AND PAST. HER LARGE FAMILY, HER CHILDREN, AND BROTHERS AND SISTERS AND MOTHER ANCHORING HER HUSBAND OF 55 YEARS, RAYMOND “COACH” BLANCO. THE TRIBUTES SPOKE OF A WOMAN OF STRONG CHARACTER AND FAITH, A WOMAN WHO LOVED LOUISIANA. KATHLEEN GAVE A VOICE TO THOSE WHO WERE NOT OFTEN HEARD OR CONSIDERED OR SEEN. WITH LITTLE K. FOR POLITICAL CONSEQUENCES BECAUSE IN HER WORLD THE POLITICS WAS ABOUT WHAT WAS GOOD FOR HER PEOPLE. LIKE ALL OF US, I SUSPECT, SHE WAS A SUM OF HER CUMULATIVE EXPERIENCES, BUT SHE WAS ALSO MORE. SHE WAS A STAY-AT-HOME MOM, A TEACHER, A PUBLIC SERVICE COMMISSIONER, A LIEUTENANT GOVERNOR AND, YES, SHE WAS THE 54th GOVERNOR OF THE GREAT STATE OF LOUISIANA. AND SHE WAS A GOOD AND DECENT PERSON WHO UNDERSTOOD PEOPLE BECAUSE SHE UNDERSTOOD LIFE. ITS BEAUTY AND ITS HARDSHIPS. AND AS WE ALL KNOW SHE LED LOUISIANA THROUGH SOME OF ITS DARKEST DAYS. THERE WAS ONE GROUP WHO NEEDED HEIFER PASSIONATE AND COMPASSIONATE LEADERSHIP MORE THAN ANY OTHER. LOUISIANA’S CHILDREN. SOME MIGHT SAY THAT BEING A TEACHER OR BEING A MOTHER IS WHAT SPARKED HER LOVE FOR CHILDREN. CERTAINLY THAT IS THE CASE. BUT I KNOW THAT HER DEVOTION TO THE WELL BEING OF THE CHILDREN OF LOUISIANA RAN MUCH DEEPER. SHE SAW EVERY CHILD AS A CHILD OF GOD. AS A BROTHER OR SISTER IN CHRIST. AND ACCORDINGLY, SHE FELT THE RESPONSIBILITY TO CARE FOR THEM, EACH OF THEM, AS IF THEY WERE HER OWN. HER PUBLIC LEGACY WILL BE CENTERED AROUND THE POLICY CENTER ON THE CAMPUS OF UL-LAFAYETTE THAT BEARS HER NAME. IT REALLY WAS AN HONOR AND PLEASURE TO HAVE THE CHANCE TO MEET HER AND HEAR DIRECTLY FROM HER, SORT OF HER VISION FOR THIS POLICY CENTER. YOU KNOW, A COUPLE OF THINGS THAT REALLY STOOD OUT TO ME WAS HER HUMILITY, BUT HER GENUINE DESIRE TO PURSUE WHAT IS BEST FOR THIS STATE. SO SHE REALLY, I THINK IN HER TIME IN OFFICE, FOCUSED ON WHAT SHE REFERRED TO AS COMMONSENSE POLICIES AND WAS WILLING TO THINK ABOUT IDEAS THAT MAY NOT HAVE COME FROM A TRADITIONAL PARTY LINE. THAT IS A TESTAMENT TO HER FOCUS ON A BIGGER GOAL AND IN THE WORK WE DO WE WANT TO MAKE SURE WE STAY TRUE TO THAT. THE ARCHIVE THAT WE WILL MAINTAIN IN THE BLANCO CENTER CONTAINS A VAST ARRAY OF DOCUMENTS AND PAPERS FROM HER TIME IN OFFICE. AND I THINK HER DECISION TO MAKE THOSE THINGS AVAILABLE ARE PART OF A COMMITMENT NOT JUST TO LET PEOPLE HAVE ACCESS TO AND SEE WHAT THEY WORKED ON BEYOND THE MAJOR EVENTS OF KATRINA AND RITA, BUT ALSO A REAL HOPE AT SORT OF THE LASTING LEGACY OF THAT TIME IN THIS STATE CAN BE ONE WHERE WE LEARN AS MUCH AS POSSIBLE AND BE BETTER PREPARED FOR THE FUTURE. IN SEPTEMBER 2018, I VISITED THE FORMER GOVERNOR AND COACH AT THEIR HOME IN LAFAYETTE. ON THAT DAY, SHE TOLD ME HER VISION FOR THE BLANCO CENTER AND HOW SHE BELIEVED HISTORY WOULD REMEMBER HER. THE KATRINA-RITA ERA WAS SO TRANSFORMATIVE FOR LOUISIANA’S CITIZENS AND FOR LOUISIANA GOVERNMENT, THAT IT WOULD BE WORTHWHILE TO PRESERVE ALL THE WORK THAT HAD BEEN DONE BY THESE REALLY DEDICATED PEOPLE AND MYSELF AND JUST SO EVERYBODY COULD SEE THAT ALL WE WERE DOING EVERY STEP OF THE WAY WAS LOOKING FOR THE GOOD FOR THE GREATEST NUMBER OF PEOPLE. AND THAT WE PUT OUR HEARTS AND SOUL INTO THAT. IT’S INTERESTING THAT YOU HAD THE FAITH TO BELIEVE AND KNOW THAT YOU WERE CALLED TO BE IN THAT POSITION. IT TAKES SOMEONE WITH GREAT FAITH WHO IS REALLY LISTENING TO BE TUNED IN TO EVEN THINK THAT. I WAS BLESSED AND CHOOSEN TO LEAD AT PROBABLY LOUISIANA’S MOST DIFFICULT TIME. WHEN I WAS LITERALLY SWIMMING IN THOSE DIFFICULT WATERS I DIDN’T FEEL SO BLESSED, TO BE HONEST ABOUT THAT, BUT WHEN YOU UNDERSTAND YOUR DESTINY FOR, YOU KNOW, EACH OF US. WE ALL EACH HAVE DESTINIES. WHERE ARE WE GOING TO BE AT WHAT PERIOD IN HISTORY AND WHAT ARE WE GOING TO CONFRONT AND HOW ARE WE GOING TO DEAL WITH IT? WHEN I THINK ABOUT WHERE GOD PLACED ME RIGHT IN THE MIDDLE OF THE MOST TERRIBLE STORMS TO EVER HIT THIS NATION AND SO MANY PEOPLE SO PAINFULLY INJURED, I KNOW THAT I WAS THE RIGHT PERSON AT THE RIGHT TIME BECAUSE GOD MADE THAT DECISION. I CERTAINLY DIDN’T MAKE IT. I THINK THAT IT IS GOING TO BE GREAT FOR HISTORIANS TO PORE THROUGH IT. UNDOUBTEDLY, EVERYBODY REMEMBERS THE CRITICISM PRESIDENT BUSH GOT AND I GOT AND THE MAYOR GOT AND ALL THE LEADERSHIP. WE ALL GOT BEAT UP TO SOME DEGREE. AT THE TIME I TOLD MY PEOPLE TO QUIT FIGHTING IT. I SAID, LET IT BE. WE ARE WASTING ENERGY THAT WE NEED TO BE SAVING LIVES. QUIT FIGHTING. WE ARE OUT OF THE WAR. THEY SAID, BUT THEY ARE GOING TO DESTROY YOUR REPUTATION. I SAID HISTORY WILL TELL A DIFFERENT STORY. I KNOW THAT BECAUSE THE TRUTH ALWAYS PREVAILS. THIS IS GOING TO HELP THE TRUTH TO PREVAIL. INFORMATION IS POWERFUL AND TO HAVE A LOOK BEHIND THE CURTAINS IS REALLY INCREDIBLY IMPORTANT. PEOPLE WILL GET TO SEE THAT, HOW THAT PROCESS UNFOLDED. AND I THINK IT WILL ENLIGHTEN THEM. SOMETIMES GOVERNMENT IS LIKE MAKING SAUSAGE AND YOU DON’T WANT TO SEE IT AND SOMETIMES IT MAKES A LOT OF SENSE. I THINK THAT MY ADMINISTRATION WILL MAKE A LOT OF SENSE. THAT VISIT WITH THE GOVERNOR 11 MONTHS AGO FROM HER HOME IN LAFAYETTE. LPB SPOKE WITH A NUMBER OF PEOPLE WHO CAME TO PAY THEIR LAST RESPECTS THURSDAY FOR GOVERNOR BLANCO, MANY OF THEM THE STATE’S POLITICAL LEADERS. HERE’S A LISTEN TO WHAT WE HEARD FROM THEM. SHE WAS A GUIDING LIGHT FOR ALL OF US AND FOR SO MANY WOMEN IN STATE GOVERNMENT, SHE WAS OUR FOUNDATION AND OUR ROCK. AND SHE HELPED GROW OUR CAREERS AND OUR PATH. AND SHE WILL JUST BE DESPERATELY MISSED. IT IS AN HONOR AND A PRIVILEGE TO BE HERE FOR A WOMAN I ADMIRE, WHO SET THE TRAIL, WHO BLAZED THE TRAIL FOR THOSE OF US WHO FOLLOWED HER IN STATE GOVERNMENT. SHE WAS A TRUE WOMAN WHO BELIEVED IN HER FAMILY AND HER FAITH AND IN HELPING PEOPLE. THOSE ARE EXACTLY THE THINGS I BELIEVE IN. LET’S FACE IT, SHE BROKE THE GLASS CEILING. THE FIRST WOMAN ELECTED GOVERNOR IN THIS STATE. SHE DID A REMARKABLE JOB. SHE WAS ALWAYS GRACEFUL AND SINCERE AND I THINK SHE HAD A PASSION AND LOVE FOR THIS STATE AND FOR ITS PEOPLE. I THINK THAT — HISTORY WILL BE KIND TO HER FOR HER LOVE OF THE PEOPLE OF THIS GREAT STATE. SHE WAS REALLY A LADY FIRST. SHE WAS SUCH A SWEET PERSON, A GENUINE PERSON AND I’M GLAD THAT SHE WAS ABLE TO GET THE SENDOFF SHE HAS GOTTEN IN THE KOUR OF THE LAST YEAR AND A HALF. IT IS A TRAGEDY FOR HER TO GO THROUGH WHAT SHE HAS BEEN THROUGH. IT WAS GRACE AND DIGNITY. THE DISPOSITION SHE MAINTAINED WHILE BEING A TRAIL BLAZER, IT WASN’T AN IN YOUR FACE, ALWAYS SMILING, ALWAYS VERY KIND. YES, SHE WAS UNRELENTING. SHE WAS VERY DETERMINED IN THE EFFORTS THAT SHE PURSUED, BUT I THINK THAT IT WAS A VERY IMPORTANT LESSON TO WATCH SOMEONE BE A TRAIL BLAZER WHILE BEING ABLE TO MAINTAIN A POSITIVE DISPOSITION. A NUMBER OF PEOPLE IN THE WORLD COULD LEARN A LOT FROM HER. EVERYBODY IS REALIZING THIS IS OUR FAVORITE SISTER. THIS IS A BIG, BIG OPPORTUNITY TO GET TOGETHER AND SOLVE THE ISSUES, WHATEVER THE CAUSE, WHATEVER THE UNDERLYING CAUSE MIGHT BE. ENOUGH DIVISION. LET’S COME TOGETHER. HER LIFE IS SO MUCH MORE THAN ANY FINITE POINT IN TIME. AND THE IMPACT OF ALL THAT SHE OFFERED, THE IMPACT OF ALL THAT SHE GAVE AND SYMBOLIZED REMAINS WITHIN EACH OF US. THE PLANTING OF SEEDS WITH ROOTS AND BRANCHES THAT GO ON AND ON. WHEN BLANCO BECAME GOVERNOR, SHE DIRECTED INCREASED FUNDING IN EDUCATION FROM PRE-K THROUGH COLLEGE. SHE WANTED TO MAKE SURE THAT EVERY CHILD HAD EARLY CHILDHOOD EDUCATION. SHE IS REMEMBERED FOR MANY THINGS, BUT HER TIRELESS EFFORTS TO IMPROVE EDUCATION ARE AT THE FOREFRONT. HER ADVOCATES SAY THE FORMER TEACHER TURNED GOVERNOR SIMPLY GOT IT. HERE IS NATASHA WILLIAMS WITH MORE ON THAT. SHE WAS SOMEBODY THAT WOMEN ALL ACROSS THIS STATE AND NATION CAN REALLY TRULY LOOK AT AS SOMEONE TO MODEL BEHIND, NO MATTER WHAT HAPPENED, GOOD OR BAD, SHE HANDLED IT ALL WITH DIGNITY AND CLASS. DR. TIA MILLS IS THE NEWLY ELECTED PRESIDENT OF THE LOUISIANA ASSOCIATION OF EDUCATORS. WHEN KATHLEEN BLANCO RAN FOR GOVERNOR IN 2003, SHE WAS IN COLLEGE AND WORKING ON OTHER POLITICAL CAMPAIGNS, BUT WAS IMMEDIATELY INSPIRED BY THE WOMAN WHO WOULD BE THE FIRST ELECTED FEMALE GOVERNOR OF THE STATE. I WAS ABLE TO SEE THE DYNAMIC OF HOW THE CAMPAIGN CHANGED, ESPECIALLY CHANGED, ESPECIALLY CHANGED HER. SHE WAS MOVING IN A MANNER LIKE I HAD NEVER SEEN BEFORE. SHE SAYS WHEREVER BLANCO WENT, LARGE CROWDS FOLLOWED, APPEARING TO HANG ON HER EVERY WORD. I JUST WANTED TO BE NEAR THE WOMAN. SHE WAS JUST PHENOMENAL AT DIFFERENT EVENTS THAT SHE ATTENDED. I COULD SEE HOW PEOPLE WERE JUST GALVANIZING AROUND HER. THEY JUST FLOCKED TO HER. SHE JUST HAD THAT KIND OF EFFECT ON PEOPLE. I WAS LIKE, WOW, I WOULD LOVE TO BE LIKE THAT ONE DAY. SHE WAS AMAZING. MILLS SAYS EVEN YEARS AFTER BLANCO LEFT THE GOVERNOR’S MANSION, SHE REMAINED THE SAME. I HAD THE OPPORTUNITY TO HAVE A CONVERSATION AT HER HOME. IT WAS LIKE BASICALLY PICKING UP WHERE WE HAD LEFT OFF FOR THE MOST PART. AND I MEAN, YOU ARE TALKING ABOUT SOMETHING THAT — I HAVE BEEN AROUND HER FOR, IT HAD BEEN OVER 15 YEARS, SO I WAS ABLE TO SEE THE CHANGE OF HER AS KATHLEEN BLANCO PRIOR TO BECOMING GOVERNOR TO THE KATHLEEN BLANCO HAVING SERVED, DID HER PART AND BASICALLY ENJOYING HER LIFE. DURING HER LIFE POLITICAL AND OTHERWISE, BLANCO CHAMPIONED EDUCATION, FIGHTING TO HELP THE CHILDREN OF OUR STATE HAVE A BETTER CHANCE AT SUCCESS. SHE WAS COMMITTED TO THAT AND SHE SHOWED THAT THROUGH OUR POLICIES. SHE WAS ADAMANT ABOUT MAKING SURE THAT TEACHERS WERE — AND EDUCATORS WERE BEING PAID AT LEAST AT THE SOUTHERN REGIONAL AVERAGE IN ADDITION TO THE FACT SHE WAS COMMITTED TO MAKING SURE WE HAD UNIVERSAL PRE-K. THE PAY RAISE GOVERNOR BLANCO FOUGHT FOR 10 YEARS AGO WAS THE LAST THE TEACHERS RECEIVED UNTIL THIS YEAR WHEN LAWMAKERS PASSED LEGISLATION GIVING THEM A $1,000 PAY RAGE. MILLS SAYS BLANCO WASN’T AFRAID TO FIGHT FOR WHAT SHE BELIEVED IN. SHE KNEW THE IMPORTANCE OF RETAINING THE BEST AND BRIGHTEST IN THE CLASSROOMS. AND SO BY DOING THAT, SHE MADE SURE THAT WE WERE BASICALLY GETTING PAID FOR THE WORK THAT WE DID. BEFORE DEADLY HURRICANE KATRINA MADE HEADLINES FOR A MONTH, BLANCO DID PUSH BACK AGAINST SOME OF HER OWN POLITICAL SUPPORTERS IN A CONTROVERSIAL MOVE AND LEGISLATION THAT WOULD LEAD THE STATE TO TAKE OVER MANY STRUGGLING AND FAILING SCHOOLS IN THE CITY OF NEW ORLEANS. THAT COMMITMENT TO EDUCATION NEVER WAVERING AFTER LEAVING OFFICE, IN 2009 LOBBYING THEN GOVERNOR BOBBY JINDAL TO MINIMIZE CUTS TO EDUCATION. AS AN EDUCATION PRACTITIONER, I THINK SHE KNEW FIRSTHAND WHAT THE NEEDS WERE FOR OUR CHILDREN AND OUR SCHOOL DISTRICTS AS A WHOLE ACROSS THE STATE. THAT IS WHY SHE WAS COMMITTED TO EDUCATION. I FIRMLY BELIEVE THAT IS WHY SHE WAS ADAMANT ABOUT MAKING SURE THAT SHE GOT THAT COMPONENT OF LOUISIANA RIGHT. BECAUSE SHE WANTED TO BE IN THE FOREFRONT IN TERMS OF EDUCATION AND WHAT WE WERE PUSHING THROUGH FOR THE BETTERMENT OF OUR CHILDREN. MILLS HERSELF A LONG TIME EDUCATOR SAYS BLANCO MADE A LOT OF PROGRESS IN EDUCATION REFORM THERE IS STILL PLENTY OF WORK TO DO. SHE GAVE HERSELF SELFISHLY IS SOMETHING I WILL REMEMBER ABOUT HER. LEADERS RESIDENTS FAMILY AND FRIENDS COME TOGETHER TO MOURN THE MOTHER, WIFE, AND BELOVED LEADER. EDUCATORS ARE MOURNING TOO, THEY LOST THEIR GOVERNOR. THEY WILL CONTINUE WHAT SHE STARTED, COMMITTED TO THE STATE AND EFFORTS TO HELP ITS CHILDREN. I THINK SHE DID A REMARKABLE JOB AND SHE DID THE VERY BEST SHE COULD IN TERMS OF MOVING US FORWARD AND WE ABSOLUTELY DO HAVE A LONG WAY TO GO. AND SO I IS MY HOPE WE CAN ALL COME TOGETHER AT SOME POINT AND BE ABLE TO PUSH THE NEEDLE FORWARD AND ENSURE THAT OUR STUDENTS GET THE VERY BEST THAT THEY NEED. WOULD THAT BE A TRIBUTE TO HER LEGACY AND WHAT SHE TRIED TO DO AS A GOVERNOR, AS A LEADER? GETTING EDUCATION RIGHT WOULD ABSOLUTELY BE A TRUE TESTAMENT OF HER LEGACY AND PROVING THAT WE’RE STILL COMMITTED TO THAT. IT WOULD MAKE HER PROUD. THANK YOU, NATASHA WILLIAMS, FOR THAT REPORT. IN OCTOBER VOTERS GO TO THE POLLS TO ELECT THE GOVERNOR, SECRETARY OF STATE, ATTORNEY GENERAL AND ALL MEMBERS OF THE LEGISLATURE. AND IF HISTORY IS ANY INDICATOR, LESS THAN 50% OF THE STATE’S ELIGIBLE VOTERS WILL CAST THEIR BALLOT. THIS MONTH, “LOUISIANA PUBLIC SQUARE” EXPLORES WAYS TO GET MORE LOUISIANANS ENGAGED IN THE POLITICAL PROCESS. PEOPLE GET IN OFFICE, SOMETIMES THEY DO THINGS CONTRARY TO WHAT YOU SENT THEM THERE TO DO, BUT AT THE END OF THE DAY, IT COMES BACK WHEN IT IS TIME FOR YOU TO VOTE. YOUR VOTE TODAY DICTATES MY VOTE TOMORROW. IF YOU ARE NOT SUPPORTING THE THINGS WITH WANT IN THE COMMUNITY, ONE OF THE THINGS WE LEARN AS ORGANIZERS AND PEOPLE BUILDING GRASSROOTS MOVEMENT IS YOU CHANGE THE POLICY OR YOU CHANGE THE PERSON RESPONSIBLE FOR THE POLICY. THE ONLY WAY YOU CAN DO THAT IS ENGAGE IN THE PROCESS. FROM THE PERSPECTIVE FROM SOMEONE WHO COVERS LOUISIANA POLITICS FOR A LIVING, I THINK THAT BETTER ENGAGEMENT COULD BE PRODUCED BY HAVING BETTER COVERAGE OF THE ISSUES. MOST NEWSROOMS HAVE GONE DOWN TO ONE JOURNALIST COVERING THE CAPITAL BEAT WHEREAS IN SOME NEWSROOMS THERE WERE AT TIMES FIVE OR SIX. NOT ONLY ARE FEWER PEOPLE PER PUBLICATION COVERING STATE GOVERNMENT AND ELECTIONS, BUT FEWER OUTLETS, PERIOD, ARE COVERING STATE GOVERNMENT ELECTIONS. THERE ARE SYNDICATION SERVICES THAT OFFER MATERIALS FOR FREE, SALARIES ARE BEING CUT. YOU HAVE PHOTOGRAPHERS ASKING QUESTIONS. YOU HAVE REPORTERS FILMING INTERVIEWS. EVERYBODY IS PULLING DOUBLE DUTY. I THINK ON THE SIDE OF PUBLIC INFORMATION, THAT IS A TROUBLING TREND. “ENGAGING LOUISIANA” AIRS WEDNESDAY AT 7:00 P.M. ON LPB AND ON WLAE IN NEW ORLEANS, WITH AN ENCORE NEXT FRIDAY NIGHT AT 8:00. VISIT LPB.ORG/PUBLICSQUARE FOR MORE INFORMATION. A REMINDER, OUR SPECIAL COVERAGE OF THE SERVICES FOR GOVERNOR BLANCO CONTINUES TOMORROW MORNING AT 11:00 A.M., STREAMING ONLINE AT LPB.ORG FROM ST. JOHN THE EVANGELIST CATHEDRAL IN LAFAYETTE. THAT’S OUR SHOW FOR THIS WEEK. REMEMBER, YOU CAN WATCH US AND ANYTHING LPB, ANY TIME, WHEREVER YOU ARE, WITH OUR BRAND NEW APP. IT’S A FREE DOWNLOAD FROM YOUR APP STORE. THIS UPGRADED VERSION FEATURES NEWS AND PUBLIC AFFAIRS, DOCUMENTARIES, HOW-TOs, AND MANY MORE PROGRAMS. AND PLEASE FOLLOW US ON FACEBOOK, TWITTER AND INSTAGRAM. FOR ALL OF US AT LOUISIANA PUBLIC BROADCASTING, I’M ANDRE MOREAU. WE LEAVE YOU WITH A FAREWELL TO OUR STATE’S 54th GOVERNOR. THANK YOU FOR WATCHING. ♪♪ ♪♪ SUPPORT COMES FROM — ENTERGY PROVIDES MUCH MORE THAN POWER. WE SUPPORT SCIENCE AND ENGINEERING AT LOCAL SCHOOLS TO BUILD A BRIGHTER PATH TO BETTER JOB AND HELP PREPARE THE NEXT GENERATION BECAUSE TOGETHER, WE POWER LIFE. ENTERGY. ADDITIONAL SUPPORT PROVIDED BY THE FRED B. AND RUTH B. ZIEGLER FOUNDATION AND THE ZIEGLER ART MUM. THE MUSEUM FOCUSES ON EMERGING LOUISIANA ARTISTS AND IS AN HISTORICAL AND CULTURAL CENTER FOR SOUTHWEST LOUISIANA. AND THE FOUNDATION FOR EXCELLENCE IN LOUISIANA PUBLIC BROADCASTING WITH SUPPORT FROM VIEWERS LIKE YOU.

1 thought on “The Legacy of Governor Blanco and Her Focus on Education | 08/23/19 | LSWI”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *