Bobby Jindal

Gov. Bobby Jindal addresses the Nebraska Republican Convention in Grand Island, Neb., on July 14. Jindal’s plans to close the Early Childhood Supports and Services program affects Louisiana mental health care professionals and children needing help.

I’m a big fan of January.

It’s a beautiful time where the promise of a new year and the resolutions that come with it are gradually worn away and reality comes crashing back. There’s a place in my hometown in Rhode Island where a McDonald’s sits next door to Planet Fitness. Guess which one has more people by the end of the month. 

Remember last year after the president was re-elected? For a little while there was a pleasant atmosphere in the country, and the next few years promised bipartisanship and good feelings. Even our beloved little state, which we can always count on to cause a fuss, just barely tried to secede.

Then January came.

The president has been re-inaugurated, the secession petition has been officially brushed off and we’re about back to baseline.

So it’s about time Gov. Bobby Jindal returned to his usually schlubby self.

Jindal announced earlier in the month that the state would be shutting down the Early Childhood Supports and Services program, which provided mental health care and counseling to low-income children under the age of 6. The $2.8 million in federal funds that paid for the program will now be spread across other state programs, freeing up state funds after a tough revenue year.w

The decision echoes Jindal’s behavior last year, when he cut a total of $523 million from state health care programs, including a $329 million cut to the LSU public hospital system.

The budget for 2013 totals $25 billion. What is the point of penny-pinching for $2.8 million, about one-hundredth of 1 percent of the budget, when it means closing a program that helps so many people?

Early Childhood Supports and Services provided help to more than 500 children and families in various cities around Louisiana  — nearly all of whom did not have health insurance — and employed 76 people.

It’s debatable whether clearing the state payrolls is the way forward, but sending children and families who need help to fend for themselves without warning is unforgivable.

Janet Ketcham, executive director of the McMains Children’s Developmental Center in Baton Rouge, said the closing of ECSS would make it difficult for the children enrolled to keep up with their peers in school.

Ketcham said about 90 percent of children enrolled in ECSS needed speech therapy, and that problems with speech in early childhood are highly correlated with reading problems and learning disabilities later in life.

“In many cases, they’ll never catch up,” Ketcham said. “We’ll pay for it on the back end.”

McMains and the ECSS had recently applied for a grant from the United Way. When it was announced ECSS would be dissolved, Ketcham had to retract the grant application.

Had they received the grant, the two organizations would have formed a formal partnership and provided speech therapy to kids before they enrolled in school. She has sent a letter to Gov. Jindal asking him to change his mind, but has not yet heard back.

It’s nothing new from Jindal, who has a tendency to make entirely self-serving political decisions at the expense of the state’s real problems.

In the weeks before it was announced ECSS would close, Jindal announced he would launch a committee to study safety in the state’s schools.

In the aftermath of Sandy Hook, can’t we accept that ensuring students have access to mental health care is an important step to ensure their safety? But Jindal took the route that would resonate with his conservative base and cut social programs that actually help people for a relatively insignificant amount of money.

For mental health care professionals and the children who need their help, the closing of ECSS is a disheartening decision that sets them back years.

For the voters of Louisiana, it’s just a return to normalcy.

Gordon Brillon is a 19-year-old mass communication sophomore from Lincoln, RI.

I’m a big fan of January.

It’s a beautiful time where the promise of a new year and the resolutions that come with it are gradually worn away and reality comes crashing back. There’s a place in my hometown in Rhode Island where a McDonald’s sits next door to Planet Fitness. Guess which one has more people by the end of the month. 

Remember last year after the president was re-elected? For a little while there was a pleasant atmosphere in the country, and the next few years promised bipartisanship and good feelings. Even our beloved little state, which we can always count on to cause a fuss, just barely tried to secede.

Then January came.

The president has been re-inaugurated, the secession petition has been officially brushed off and we’re about back to baseline.

So it’s about time Gov. Bobby Jindal returned to his usually schlubby self.

Jindal announced earlier in the month that the state would be shutting down the Early Childhood Supports and Services program, which provided mental health care and counseling to low-income children under the age of 6. The $2.8 million in federal funds that paid for the program will now be spread across other state programs, freeing up state funds after a tough revenue year.w

The decision echoes Jindal’s behavior last year, when he cut a total of $523 million from state health care programs, including a $329 million cut to the LSU public hospital system.

The budget for 2013 totals $25 billion. What is the point of penny-pinching for $2.8 million, about one-hundredth of 1 percent of the budget, when it means closing a program that helps so many people?

Early Childhood Supports and Services provided help to more than 500 children and families in various cities around Louisiana  — nearly all of whom did not have health insurance — and employed 76 people.

It’s debatable whether clearing the state payrolls is the way forward, but sending children and families who need help to fend for themselves without warning is unforgivable.

Janet Ketcham, executive director of the McMains Children’s Developmental Center in Baton Rouge, said the closing of ECSS would make it difficult for the children enrolled to keep up with their peers in school.

Ketcham said about 90 percent of children enrolled in ECSS needed speech therapy, and that problems with speech in early childhood are highly correlated with reading problems and learning disabilities later in life.

“In many cases, they’ll never catch up,” Ketcham said. “We’ll pay for it on the back end.”

McMains and the ECSS had recently applied for a grant from the United Way. When it was announced ECSS would be dissolved, Ketcham had to retract the grant application.

Had they received the grant, the two organizations would have formed a formal partnership and provided speech therapy to kids before they enrolled in school. She has sent a letter to Gov. Jindal asking him to change his mind, but has not yet heard back.

It’s nothing new from Jindal, who has a tendency to make entirely self-serving political decisions at the expense of the state’s real problems.

In the weeks before it was announced ECSS would close, Jindal announced he would launch a committee to study safety in the state’s schools.

In the aftermath of Sandy Hook, can’t we accept that ensuring students have access to mental health care is an important step to ensure their safety? But Jindal took the route that would resonate with his conservative base and cut social programs that actually help people for a relatively insignificant amount of money.

For mental health care professionals and the children who need their help, the closing of ECSS is a disheartening decision that sets them back years.

For the voters of Louisiana, it’s just a return to normalcy.

Gordon Brillon is a 19-year-old mass communication sophomore from Lincoln, RI.

I’m a big fan of January.

It’s a beautiful time where the promise of a new year and the resolutions that come with it are gradually worn away and reality comes crashing back. There’s a place in my hometown in Rhode Island where a McDonald’s sits next door to Planet Fitness. Guess which one has more people by the end of the month. 

Remember last year, after the president was re-elected? For a little while, there was a pleasant atmosphere in the country, and the next few years promised bipartisanship and good feelings. Even our beloved little state, which we can always count on to cause a fuss, just barely tried to secede.

Then January came.

The president has been re-inaugurated, the secession petition has been officially brushed off and we’re about back to baseline.

So it’s about time Gov. Bobby Jindal returned to his usually schlubby self.

Jindal announced earlier in the month that the state would be shutting down the Early Childhood Supports and Services program, which provided mental health care and counseling to low-income children under the age of 6. The $2.8 million in federal funds that paid for the program will now be spread across other state programs, freeing up state funds after a tough revenue year.

The decision echoes Jindal’s behavior last year, when he cut a total of $523 million from state health care programs, including a $329 million cut to the LSU public hospital system.

The budget for 2013 totals $25 billion. What is the point of penny-pinching for $2.8 million, about one-hundredth of 1 percent of the budget, when it means closing a program that helps so many people?

Early Childhood Supports and Services provided help to more than 500 children and families in various cities around Louisiana  — nearly all of whom did not have health insurance — and employed 76 people.

It’s debatable whether clearing the state payrolls is the way forward, but sending children and families who need help to fend for themselves without warning is unforgivable.

Janet Ketcham, executive director of the McMains Children’s Developmental Center in Baton Rouge, said the closing of ECSS would make it difficult for the children enrolled to keep up with their peers in school.

Ketcham said about 90 percent of children enrolled in ECSS needed speech therapy, and that problems with speech in early childhood are highly correlated with reading problems and learning disabilities later in life.

“In many cases, they’ll never catch up,” Ketcham said. “We’ll pay for it on the back end.”

McMains and the ECSS had recently applied for a grant from the United Way. When it was announced ECSS would be dissolved, Ketcham had to retract the grant application.

Had they received the grant, the two organizations would have formed a formal partnership and provided speech therapy to kids before they enrolled in school. She has sent a letter to Gov. Jindal asking him to change his mind, but has not yet heard back.

It’s nothing new from Jindal, who has a tendency to make entirely self-serving political decisions at the expense of the state’s real problems.

In the weeks before it was announced ECSS would close, Jindal announced he would launch a committee to study safety in the state’s schools.

In the aftermath of Sandy Hook, can’t we accept that ensuring students have access to mental health care is an important step to ensure their safety? But Jindal took the route that would resonate with his conservative base and cut social programs that actually help people for a relatively insignificant amount of money.

For mental health care professionals and the children who need their help, the closing of ECSS is a disheartening decision that sets them back years.

For the voters of Louisiana, it’s just a return to normalcy.

News Editor

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