White calls ruckus over voucher emails 'sensationalism'
In an interview with Daily Report this morning, Louisiana Department of Education Superintendent John White says there was nothing improper about a string of emails between him and members of Gov. Bobby Jindal's staff regarding how he planned to handle public discussion of the state's school voucher program. The emails were recently obtained and released by The (Monroe) News-Star, and have led some of Jindal's critics to call on the governor to investigate the matter. "It's almost hard to respond to because all we're talking about is me saying what we were going to do, and then we did it," White says. "If people want to make it out to be more than that, then it's just sensationalism." While The News-Star reports it received the emails via an extensive public records request, White says that's not true. "We don't know how the media got those emails, but they were not provided through an official records request," White says. When asked how he thinks they were obtained, White says, "I don't know. But I don't think that's a matter of great consequence." Ultimately, White says, the stories on the emails are overshadowing issues of greater importance as Louisiana begins to implement the voucher program statewide. "I think there's been very little focus on what matters most, which is the kids and their parents," White says. You can check out The News-Star's original article on the emails at issue here; and see a follow-up story from today's News-Star with reactions from Jindal critics here. Meanwhile, The Times-Picayune has a story on White's efforts to calm the outcry over the story here. —Steve Sanoski
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The old two-year college try