[StBernard] Update on Schools Petition to Gov. Blanco and the LRA

Westley Annis westley at da-parish.com
Sat Sep 23 23:07:48 EDT 2006

Thank you for signing the petition urging Gov. Blanco and the LRA to fund
the recovery of faith-based and private schools. These schools have been
critical to Louisiana's recovery and they should be included in the CDBG
block grant money as Congress intended.

We currently have over 1500 signatures on the petition which is a great
start, but we need more. If everyone who has signed can get just four
friends to sign, we will have over 7500 signatures, which will really send a
message to the LRA at their October 12 meeting. At the bottom of this
e-mail is a sample e-mail you can send to your friends to urge them to sign
the petition.

Louisiana's government must be responsive to the needs of the people - the
private sector has led the recovery by helping people help themselves when
the government let us down. This petition will send an important message to
the LRA that they need to show leadership and distribute the funds now.

Thank you again,

John D. Georges
CEO, Imperial Trading Company

P.S. Be sure to revisit my website www.changelouisiana.com

We are adding articles every day about how the private sector is fueling the
recovery and making Louisiana strong. We welcome your thoughts on what
government can do better or on efforts in your community that we should
highlight. You can e-mail story ideas to johngeorges at changelouisiana.com.


Dear Friends,

Please join me in signing an important petition asking Governor Blanco and
the Louisiana Recovery Authority to support faith-based schools from the
CDBG grant money. You can find the petition at www.changelouisiana.com
gmoktzoqbio&link=bbfhmeulcikuqxkytacgsubapjofbci> .

On October 12, the Louisiana Recovery Authority will meet again and we want
to let them know that faith-based and private schools need their help. The
LRA has designated $200 million for school reconstruction. Congress says
that these funds can go to ANY schools that meet the goal of rebuilding our
community, but the LRA has not yet allowed Faith-Based and Private schools
to apply for these rebuilding funds. Some members of the LRA say it
violates the separation of church and state-- despite the fact that the
government helps provide bus service, food, instructional services and even
tuition assistance to students in private and parochial schools.

This is wrong. Hurricanes Katrina and Rita did not discriminate and neither
should the LRA. We should help those who helped us.

Within weeks of Hurricane Katrina, the hard-hit Catholic Archdiocese of New
Orleans re-opened the first school in the City, Cathedral of St. Louis King
of France, and allowed any child to attend their schools free of charge when
no public schools were open for months. Catholic schools represent 17% of
the total student population of Louisiana; yet the Louisiana Conference of
Catholic Bishops is only asking for 10% of the funds dedicated for schools -
$20 Million. This request only covers a portion of the $84 million in
uninsured, unreimbursed losses in the Archdiocese of New Orleans alone.
Other faith-based schools face similar hurdles, yet they cannot move ahead
in rebuilding until they know if they will have their fair share of the
funds allocated to rebuild our communities.

It's not a question of church and state - it's a question of Louisiana's
leadership making tough decisions and distributing funds as quickly as

Join me in asking Governor Blanco and the LRA to help the devastated schools
who met the moral obligation to educate our children when there were no
other options after Hurricanes Katrina and Rita. Sign the petition, at
ChangeLouisiana.com and ask them not to leave our schools behind!

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