BATON ROUGE, LA. -- Armed with a massive revenue surplus spawned by hurricane recovery efforts, Louisiana Gov. Kathleen Blanco is pushing state lawmakers to make a major investment in education this year that includes $57 million in new money for the Louisiana Community and Technical College System.
Louisiana sales taxes are setting new records as the state moves to rebuild from Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, and that's allowing Blanco to fully fund the state's population-based college funding formula for the first time since 1981.
In all, Blanco is asking the Legislature to invest half of the new state money--more than $600 million--in K-12 and higher education. The bottom line, according to Louisiana's first-ever female governor, is that education is the key to the state's future.
"Right now, we can make the single largest increase in education funding ever in Louisiana's history," Blanco told the Legislature when its session opened April 30. "This investment will place Louisiana on center stage--where we belong--as education leaders."
Joe May, who took over as president of the …