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Louisiana Governor Supports McDonnell’s Education Reform Plan - NBC29 WVIR Charlottesville, VA News, Sports and Weather

Louisiana Governor Supports McDonnell’s Education Reform Plan

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Governor Bob McDonnell's plans to fix failing schools in the commonwealth are getting some support from Cajun country.

Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal stopped in Richmond Friday, where he spoke in support of McDonnell's plans to improve school accountability and performance. Those include the governor's plan to create an A-F school rating system, and give the state the power to take control of continually failing schools.

Jindal is no stranger to the concepts. Louisiana instituted its "Recovery School District" in 2003, allowing the state to take over schools that fall below set academic standards for several years. Since then, he says the program has been a success.

"In five years, you've seen more progress than people thought was possible in such a short period of time. More progress than had happened in several years before. But there is still more work to be done," Jindal said.

Those against the idea in Virginia say government takeover of underperforming schools is unconstitutional, and strips school boards of too much authority to address performance issues.

Louisiana also already rates the performance of schools on an A-F grading scale, which supporters say makes school performance easier for parents and others to understand. Opponents say the concept could create a negative stigma for underperforming schools, and lead to unfair comparisons between schools with different resources.

Despite outside concerns, McDonnell is optimistic the plans will help improve school accountability in the commonwealth.

"After a couple of years of failure, we will not tolerate the excuse that, 'if you just give us more time, and you just give us more money, everything is going to be okay.' Because it's not," McDonnell said.

Both reforms have passed their first votes in the House of Delegates and Senate, but require one more round of approval in each chamber before making it to the governor's desk.

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