Louisiana State Superintendent John White called on National Education Association president Lily Eskelsen García to publicly retract statements she made last week about the rebuilding of New Orleans schools after Hurricane Katrina.
On Friday, the Pacific Northwest Inlander published an interview with García in which she claimed that state education officials rebuilt and modernized “white suburb public schools” while bulldozing those in New Orleans’ black neighborhoods.
Background on this story:
Lily Eskelsen García, president of the National Education Association (NEA), visited Rogers High School in Spokane, Washington last week. While she was there, she sat down for an interview with Wilson Criscione of the Pacific Northwest Inlander, in which she made several outlandish claims that had absolutely no connection to the truth.
In a letter sent to García this morning, White called those comments “not only inaccurate but also insensitive to the city’s arduous recovery from a horrific tragedy,” and pointed out that education officials have built “26 brand new public school buildings and 31 renovated public school buildings, with 23 additional projects to be completed soon.” He went on to note that, “By 2019, every single public school student in New Orleans, no matter race nor family income, will attend a new or renovated facility.”
White concluded his letter to García by saying, “So as to clear the record, I call on you to retract these damaging comments immediately.”
As of press time, García had yet to respond to White’s letter. Be sure to check back here for updates.