Viewpoint: January 11, 2012

With all the hoopla surrounding LSU's quest for a national championship, you may have missed Gov. Bobby Jindal's inaugural speech. As Jindal begins his second term in office, he said his mission is far from accomplished. And, he's putting much of his focus on education.

"Our top priority this year is to improve education in Louisiana," he said.

We agree, when it comes to education, there is much to be accomplished. In East Baton Rouge Parish alone, there are more than 20 schools deemed academically unacceptable.

"To break that trend is going to take a lot of hard work," he added.

That statistic should be unacceptable for all of us. The governor said real education reform will come in giving parents and children more choices.

"We're offering more courses on-line. We're offering more options to kids through charter schools. We're also, with tax deductions now available to parents as well as the scholarship program in New Orleans, giving more options to our children," Jindal explained.

He's also calling on lawmakers and others to put aside party politics and agendas when it comes to education. Based on controversy that's sure to surround some of Jindal's reform plans, that's a tall order. But, we hope it's one that can be accomplished. Improving our education system is a necessity, not a luxury.

Governor, we need you to make good on your promise to fix education. Thousands of children and their parents are counting on it.