Jindal administration questioning education contracts
BATON ROUGE - Gov. Bobby Jindal's administration is questioning whether Education Superintendent John White is dividing his department's contracts into smaller pieces to sidestep oversight and public bid requirements.
The Office of State Procurement sent White a letter Tuesday saying it found a "questionable volume" of recent contracts ranging from $1,500 to $2,000.
State law provides certain dollar benchmarks for when contracts must be publicly bid, depending on contract type.
Also since July, the Jindal administration has required the Department of Education to get approval for any contract above $2,000, an outgrowth of Jindal's disagreement with White over the Common Core education standards.
Joan Hunt, general counsel for the education department, says suggestions the agency did anything improper are "baseless." She says the contracts are payments to individual educators for work they've performed.