Medium Rare

by Patrick Flanagan

Choice cuts from local news media for Tuesday, April 1, including Gov. Jindal's Asian excursion, a lack of funding for an alleged killer's death penalty case and an argument on why Louisiana needs Common Core.

Tough luck
The 15th Judicial District Attorney's Office is seeking the death penalty against Landon Broussard, who allegedly raped and killed his girlfriend's three-year-old son.

Landon Broussard

And Broussard's predicament isn't getting any better according to KATC TV 3, which reports that the Public Defender's Office doesn't have enough money to pay for expert witnesses in the case.

The lack of payment has already prompted one of the main witnesses hired by Broussard's defense to jump ship. The only bright side for Broussard, it seems, is that a trial date has yet been set.

"Some suggest that the state reverse course on implementing the higher standards, and would have you believe that Common Core is nothing more than a federal conspiracy to take control of our children's education. Nothing could be further from the truth, and I, and the Board, would certainly oppose such an intrusion" - District 7 BESE board member Holly Boffy

In defense of Common Core
In this letter to the editor published in The Daily Advertiser, District 7 BESE board member Holly Boffy lays out an argument for why Louisiana needs to stay the course on Common Core.

There's a lot of misinformation that the new standards are an attempt at a federal takeover of the public education system, she says, and there are number of legislative proposals on the table for this year's session to scrap the Common Core standards altogether and go back to the drawing board. According to Boffy, that would be a grave and costly mistake.

"If we are serious about raising the bar for K-12 education in Louisiana and truly preparing our children for challenges and opportunities ahead, then reversing course on higher academic standards and accountability shouldn't be an option," writes Boffy. "The stakes are high, and the time to reaffirm our commitment to quality education is now."

Jindal's Asian excursion
According to the Baton Rouge Advocate, Gov. Bobby Jindal's latest trip abroad - a weeklong tour of Asia - has ended up costing taxpayers about $57,000.

Jindal didn't travel alone either, and had an entourage consisting of his wife, Supriya, his chief of staff, Kyle Plotkin, LED secretary Stephen Moret and two of his staffers, international commerce executive director John Voorhorst, FastStart executive director Jeff Lynn and a security detail of seven state troopers.

According to public records received by the Advocate, Diet Coke was a must, and among their various hotel stays, the most posh was the Imperial in Japan, which cost about $300/night.

Though Jindal touted the trip as a business development mission, so far, it doesn't seem any business has been secured.