Last Modified: Saturday, June 30, 2012 9:57 PM
cuts in next year’s Louisiana budget defy logic. Take for example the
$100,000 hit the Council for the Development of French in Louisiana,
better known as CODOFIL, will absorb. The cut accounts for nearly 40
percent of CODOFIL’s operating budget.
Created in 1968, CODOFIL is tasked
with developing, utilizing and preserving the Cajun French language in
Louisiana for the cultural, economic and tourist benefit of the state.
Many mistakenly assume that CODOFIL’s only mission is preserving the Cajun language.
It is responsible for starting many
French-language programs in elementary schools, offering a visa program
for foreign teachers to teach the language and distribute scholarship
money for Louisiana students and teachers to study abroad.
But it has done so much more.
It’s been instrumental in twinning cities and towns in Louisiana with their counterparts in France and Belgium.
CODOFIL has also been instrumental
in the success of Festivals Acadiens and Festival International de
Louisiana in Lafayette and forming a bridge between the Cajun region of
Louisiana and Nova Scotia, where many Cajun families can trace roots to
prior to the tragic Great Expulsion.
CODOFIL has also been responsible for promoting tourism in south Louisiana.
The line-item veto by Gov. Bobby Jindal has been taken as an insult by many of Cajun heritage.
“It’s only $100,000, and I know we
have more than 100,000 Cajuns in this area of the state,” State Rep.
Jack Montoucet, D-Crowley, said Thursday. “We can show (Jindal) that no
matter what he does in Baton Rouge, we are going to survive like we did
for hundreds of years, and we’re going to be part of this state whether
he wants to include us or not.
“Those cuts were not made out of
necessity. The cuts were made for political ambitions to impress those
big bosses in Washington, D.C., so that (Jindal) can get a position up
there. I’ve said it often, but we need to buy him a ticket so he can
Montoucet and state Reps. Stephen
Ortego, D-Carencro, and Vincent Pierre, D-Lafayette, criticized the
governor’s million dollar handouts to the New Orleans Saints and
“That $100,000 was an investment in
our people, our culture, our identity and our economy,” Ortego said. “We
can easily give away $4.5 million to the Hornets, and we can give away a
$10 million facility, but we can’t find a small fraction of that for
Some believe the CODOFIL cut was
Jindal’s way of punishing Lt. Gov. Jay Dardenne who has been critical of
cuts to the state’s Department of Culture, Recreation and Tourism,
which Dardenne’s office oversees.
If that’s the case, Jindal is cutting off his nose to spite his face.
And no one should be saying c’est bon over CODOFIL’s cuts. This editorial was written by a member of the American Press Editorial Board. Its content reflects the collaborative opinion of the Board, whose members include Bobby Dower, Ken Stickney,
Jim Beam, Dennis Spears, Crystal Stevenson and Donna Price.
This editorial was written by a member of the American Press Editorial Board. Its content reflects the collaborative opinion of the Board, whose members include Bobby Dower, Ken Stickney, Jim Beam, Dennis Spears, Crystal Stevenson and Donna Price.
Posted By: Angela On: 6/30/2012
This is an issue of education not industry . We all know where he stands on education. He isn't of French decent nor does he profit from CODOFIL I am cetain they are not giving him funding so they are cut. He just gave a 6 billion dollar industry TAX EXEMTION. He does understand finance but doesn't care about Louisiana Culture.
Posted By: Glynis Davis On: 6/28/2012
Title: budget cut insulting to Louisiana culture
I am outraged that our governor would cut the budget of the agency that is in the forefront of bringing tourism to Louisiana...without the French Cajun culture ...Louisiana would not be any different from any other state ...let's be frank ..people don't come here for our mountains or our beaches! Jindal is being very shortsided and anti-cultural. He dosen't seem to appreciate the arts, culture, museums, etc ...it is embrassing to our state when tourists come ( if they will anymore) and museums are closed due to budget cuts. I hear there is a recall petition starting to oust Jndal ...I am not surprised.
Posted By: Daniel Ward On: 6/28/2012
Title: Editor, Language Magazine
Well said, $100,000 is a tiny investment to encourage French education and culture which is such an important part of Louisiana's history!
Visit www.codofil.org to see what they do and all relevant comments posted on our site www.languagemagazine.com will be forwarded to the Governor.