Look for state Treasurer John Kennedy to be a viable candidate for governor of Louisiana sometime in the future.
He has been outspoken on the state of our state lately, especially how we can overcome our budgeting problems. And all of his solutions seem to be possible and practical.
He doesn’t mince words. He spells out our problems as they are, the good and bad of them. And people seem to be accepting his solutions because of his knowledge about our state financial picture.
His rating has gone up to 61 percent, higher than any other state official. And who knows, Gov. Bobby Jindal could be on a ticket for president or vice president in the next four years.
We doubt that Kennedy would run against Jindal for re-election because he has a secure future ahead as treasurer with little chance of losing a bid for re-election there. But his impressive knowledge about the best ways to guide the state’s future would be tough for any other candidate to defeat.
Higher ed needs some changes
There’s a difference between cutting higher education funding and cutting higher education in Louisiana. There are many ways in which the former can be done without causing the latter.
For example, there are many duplications in programs existing in public colleges sitting not far from one another such as SUNO and UNO in New Orleans and Southern University and LSU in Baton Rouge. They are ripe for significant cuts that would cause little loss of opportunities for students seeking courses they provide.
Junior colleges and vocational schools could provide the upper education needed for many. But in the past, officials at every junior college wanted to become a four-year college and at every four-year college wanted to offer graduate courses.
That is part of the way we got so overloaded with higher education in a state whose workforce does not need that many four-year and graduate degrees.
The fact that Louisiana’s cost of providing higher education is more per capita than in any other state in the south is not because we have provided so many opportunities for our students. It is rather because we have over-duplicated the process of providing it.
By revamping our process of providing higher education, we can help balance our budget and still allow our students to achieve their objectives in education. Our educational institutions should be able to help achieve that objective.