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Education & Our Future: A Gubernatorial Debate, 2003

Louisiana Gubernatorial Debates



Genre: Debate

Place Covered: Baton Rouge, East Baton Rouge Parish, Louisiana

Copyright Holder: Louisiana Educational Television Authority

Date Issued: 2003-10-14

Duration: 00:58:31

Subjects: Television debates | Elections, 2003 | Louisiana gubernatorial election, 2003 | Blanco, Kathleen Babineaux, 1942- | Jindal, Bobby, 1971- | Politics | Government | Education | HIGHER EDUCATION | PROPERTY TAXES | Early childhood education | School voucher | Educational vouchers | Educational accountability | Teacher pay raises | Educational technology | Louisiana State University (Baton Rouge, La.) | TUITION | Vocational-technical schools | Universities and colleges | COMMUNITY COLLEGES | TOPS PROGRAM | Taylor Opportunity Program for Students | Charter schools


  • Courtney, Beth Moderator
  • Allen, Gary Producer
  • Picard, Cecil Speaker
  • Savoie, Joseph Speaker
  • Redman, Carl Interviewer
  • Henderson, Karen Interviewer
  • Warner, Coleman Interviewer
  • Deslatte, Melinda Interviewer
  • Turner, Dan Interviewer
  • Jindal, Bobby Panelist
  • Blanco, Kathleen Panelist


Beth Courtney moderates a live debate on education from the LPB Studios in Baton Rouge on October 14, 2003, between the two run-off candidates for Governor: former Health and Hospitals Secretary Bobby Jindal (R) and Lieutenant Governor Kathleen Blanco (D). Superintendent of Education Cecil Picard and Commissioner of Higher Education Joseph Savoie provide an introduction to the debate. In lieu of an opening statement, the candidates answer the following question: Name one education policy issue where you strongly disagree with your opponent. The moderator and the following panel of journalists then ask the candidates questions: Carl Redman of the Baton Rouge Advocate; Karen Henderson of WRKF Radio in Baton Rouge; Coleman Warner of the New Orleans Times-Picayune; Melinda Deslatte of the Associated Press; and Dan Turner of the Shreveport Times. Their questions cover the following topics: reassessing property values accurately for property taxes, which support local schools; funding the expansion of state pre-K programs and making pre-K a permanent part of the funding formula for public schools; responding to reports of misspent funds in local school districts; requiring schools that accept students with school vouchers to meet state school accountability requirements; funding teacher pay raises; investing in technology in the classroom; financial audits at Grambling State University; providing extra funding for LSU as the state’s flagship university; giving higher education governing boards the authority to raise tuition without legislative approval; improving the performance of vo-tech schools; strengthening admissions standards at 4-year colleges and universities in order to encourage more students to attend community colleges and vo-tech schools; providing public money to fund endowed professorships at private universities; requiring a financial needs assessment for the TOPS program; expanding charter schools; establishing a law school in north Louisiana; and the state’s takeover of failing public schools. The debate ends with each candidate’s closing statement.