One of the most important things that would help New Orleans rebound is education. The education system in New Orleans, as in Louisiana as a whole, hasn't been great. But we have an opportunity to build a new one that ranks high, not only in the southeast, but in the entire United States.
In the past, people that have had the necessary means to opt out of the public system have had an advantage. I've worked with public schools through my foundation, Catch 22, donating items, talking to the kids and trying to give them the materials to be success. Whether they're sharing books or they can't take books home because there aren't enough, you see how much they lack. Every school doesn't have that problem, but the majority do.
The key parts of reform are to get the kids while they're young, involve them in some type of program during the summer, and let them understand there are opportunities for them. If we get the education system straight, then it helps the overall condition of the whole region. Once you have people who are better educated, they won't feel the need to abandon the area to get a good job. Then the economy can thrive.
This is a great opportunity. There's never been a chance for anyone to do total reform like they can in New Orleans now.
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