Posted: Jun 21, 2012 5:45 PM by Jenise Fernandez
Updated: Jun 21, 2012 6:01 PM
Acadiana lawmakers announced efforts to save the Council for the Development of French in Louisiana. This after Governor Jindal slashed $100,000 from CODOFIL's budget. That leaves$152,000, 40 percent less than the usual budget. This cut could affect the ability to recruit and train teachers for french immersion as well as impact tourism in the state.
"This simple strike of the pen, is a slap in the face," said Rep. Stephen Ortego.
Representatives Stephen Ortego, Jack Montoucet and Vincent Pierre spoke to dozens at the Vermilionville old school house. They say community support for CODOFIL is now more important than ever.
"We're humiliated and being punished for who we are and what we stand for," said Montoucet.
"To have our governor cut these types of programs, it's touching my home because my child is a french immersion student," added Pierre.
Community donations are the only way CODOFIL can fill its budget gap.Montoucet says the cuts were unnecessary.
"It's a shame and downright insulting to me and to all cajuns," he said.
The audience was also upset. They believe CODOFIL is the core of Louisiana culture.
"They've been there to back up the people of Louisiana for so long and to put them aside as something you can put on a shelf like a doll, it's lunacy," said Theresa Roaloff.
"It's encouraging to see lawmakers that care about what CODOFIL does and see that CODOFIL is making an impact in education and in economic development," added CODOFIL Executive Director Joseph Dunn.
"We can show them no matter what he does in Baton Rouge we're going to survive," added Montoucet.