Back in my Louisiana hometown, the East Baton Rouge Parish School Board is considering a list of $37.4 million in budget cuts as a start on tackling what officials think will end up being a $39 million budget deficit.
Class sizes will increase. Three schools will close. Staffers will face furloughs. Direct bus routes -- 62 of them -- for gifted and magnet-school students will be eliminated.
One thing that won't be cut, however, is bus service for parochial schools.
Non-Louisianians might react to this with a great big "WTF???" They might wonder what the name of "separation of church and state" are taxpayers doing funding bus service for Catholic schools.
LOUISIANIANS, however, probably would wonder why taxpayers wouldn't provide school buses for parochial-school students. They'd argue that white kids ought to have just as much access to school buses as black ones.
Absurdity, after all, is so prevalent in the Gret Stet as to not even be noticed.
In today's newspaper, The Advocate reports on the abjectly insane machinations of what passes for self-governance in Louisiana with nary an eye roll:
Carnell Washington, president of the East Baton Rouge Federation of Teachers, said parochial school children should also lose direct bus routes if magnet and gifted children lose there’s.GOD, I HOPE someone makes a federal case of this.
“If we have to give up something, they should give up something,” Washington said.
Dilworth said he struggles with some suggested cuts, including ending after just one year an experiment in year-round schooling at Claiborne and Park elementary schools, saving $4 million in the process.
“So I spend $4 million at those schools and then look at the cuts I’m going to have to make across the district … can I justify that? No,” Dilworth said.
Washington placed the blame for the cuts on Gov. Bobby Jindal whom he described as “selfish.”
“We are here because the state of Louisiana has refused to fund public schools,” Washington said.
It probably won't be the commenters at the bottom of the article -- the one yearning for a return to "neighborhood schools" and another who wants the school system to be rid of all its "magnate" programs.
Gee, if I were in charge, I'd make every school a "magnate" school. Them magnates would have enough money to pay for their own damned school buses.