BATON ROUGE - Today, Governor John Bel Edwards issued the following statement in response to a new, misleading television ad from an out-of-state special interest group. The ad falsely claims that the governor proposed budget cuts to the school voucher program, when in fact, the department’s current budget proposal does not eliminate funding for existing scholarships at all. Given the historic budget crisis facing the state, the Department of Education recommended funding the current voucher program with no growth.
“This ad is a blatant attempt to leverage Bobby Jindal’s budget crisis for political gain,” said Edwards. “People who purposefully mislead the public about issues as important as our kids’ education have absolutely no place at the table. I’m working for solutions, and I won’t be distracted from the fight to save our education system.”
Facing a budget deficit for the fiscal year beginning July 1, Gov. Edwards was constitutionally obligated to submit a balanced budget proposal to the legislature. By allocating the cuts across state agencies, Gov. Edwards tasked each department with deciding how the cuts would be made.
“Every agency head did their best to prioritize their funding based on their mission. It is important to recognize that every student currently receiving a scholarship will continue to receive one. This out-of-state special interest should direct its criticisms at the small group of legislators who failed to do the necessary work in the special session to fill the largest deficit our state has ever seen.”
During the first special session, Gov. Edwards proposed a comprehensive plan that would have stabilized the budget and avoided catastrophic cuts across state government.