Caitlin Meehan-Draper, an instructor at the New Orleans charter school chain FirstLine, is one of nine finalists for 2019 Louisiana Teacher of the Year, an annual award bestowed by the Louisiana Department of Education. (Last week's Thumbs Up/Thumbs Down incorrectly stated Stephen Goodly of Warren Easton Senior High School was the metro area's only finalist.) This year's winner will be announced at a ceremony in Baton Rouge July 27.
Carolyn Dalton, a former New Orleans Police Department officer, was convicted of malfeasance in office after a St. Bernard Parish woman filed harassment charges against her. After an investigation by the department's Public Integrity Bureau found the officer had improperly used department computers to look up the woman's address, District Attorney Leon Cannizzaro's office filed the charge against Dalton. She is scheduled to be sentenced by Criminal District Judge Byron C. Williams June 22.
The Louisiana Legislature once again failed to pass a budget with the appropriate funding mechanisms, ensuring the House and Senate will reconvene this month for yet another special session (costing taxpayers upward of $60,000 per day) before the "fiscal cliff" goes into effect July 1. Funding for higher ed, TOPS and health care all were left in the lurch. (For more, see Commentary, p. 9.)