La. seeks to use recovery money for Pre-K program
BATON ROUGE- Gov. Bobby Jindal's administration wants to shift $20 million in hurricane recovery spending for hurricanes Gustav and Ike to fill in budget gaps in the state's preschool program for at-risk students.
The proposal, which requires approval from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, was posted this week for public comment.
The dollars were included in the $75 million annual budget for the Cecil J. Picard LA4 Pre-K Program.
Jindal's chief budget adviser, Paul Rainwater, says the spending will help people impacted by the storms by offering preschool education to four-year-olds in low- to moderate-income families in hurricane-damaged parishes.
But Jeanerette Rep. Simone Champagne, whose district was hit by both 2008 hurricanes, says the money should be spent to help people elevate their homes and guard against future storms.