Author

JC Canicosa

JC Canicosa

JC Canicosa is an award-winning journalist at The Louisiana Illuminator. Canicosa has previous experience at Investigate-TV and The Loyola Maroon and earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism from Loyola University New Orleans. At Loyola, he was the senior staff writer at The Maroon and the president of the school's chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists. Off the clock, Canicosa enjoys playing basketball, watching movies and dabbling in comedy writing.

Southern University names Dennis Shields new president-chancellor

By: - February 18, 2022

The Southern University System board selected Dennis Shields, former chancellor of the University of Wisconsin-Platteville, as its next president-chancellor at a board meeting Friday afternoon. “I am humbled and honored by your confidence in me …” Shields said to the Southern board over Zoom during the meeting. “I had a remarkable and inspiring visit (to […]

Barry Ivey

Louisiana lawmaker blasts colleagues after they scuttle his redistricting bill

By: - February 16, 2022

Republicans in the Louisiana Legislature have dominated the ongoing redistricting session, almost exclusively advancing maps that favor their party retaining its healthy majority in Congress and state bodies. But one GOP member had choice words for his colleagues Wednesday after he bucked the partisan trend and sought to add a minority district to the Louisiana […]

Senate leaders want school districts to decide masking

Louisiana health officials revise school quarantine policy for COVID-19

By: - February 15, 2022

A drop in Louisiana’s COVID-19 case numbers, including those on public school campuses, has led to a revision in quarantine policy Louisiana health officials detailed Tuesday. They still believe it’s best for students who come into close contact with a COVID-positive individual to isolate themselves for 10 days, regardless of their vaccination status. Other options […]

Louisiana lawmakers target local voting rules with proposed amendment

Disability advocate warns hand-marked ballots ‘worst possible system’ for Louisiana elections

By: - February 15, 2022

Hand-written ballots – the most popular option among those pushing false claims that the 2020 presidential election was rigged – would be the “worst possible system” for voters with disabilities, an access advocate stressed to a committee that’s evaluating options for Louisiana election technology. Tory Rocca, public policy and community engagement director for Disability Rights […]

Ineligible Louisiana state employees received over $6 million in unemployment assistance

By: - February 14, 2022

Louisiana paid out about $6.1 million in unemployment assistance to more than 1,000 state employees “who did not appear to be eligible” from Feb. 20, 2020, to July 24, 2021, the Louisiana Legislative Auditor found. “While some of these employees may have been victims of identity theft, others appear to have received benefit payments for […]

Louisiana silhouette over classroom

Louisiana Senate advances BESE map without additional majority-minority district

By: - February 10, 2022

The Louisiana Senate has approved revised state school board districts with two out of eight elected seats favoring minority voters. Black lawmakers and voting rights advocates wanted an additional district to account for changes in the state’s population, which is now 33% Black and 40% minority.  The Board of Elementary and Secondary Education map, sponsored […]

Louisiana Supreme Court map advances from Senate committee with one majority Black district

By: - February 9, 2022

A Louisiana Senate committee advanced a map of revised state Supreme Court districts Wednesday that maintains just one majority-minority district. The bill advanced on a 5-3 vote, with Black committee members opposed to the proposal. Sen. Sharon Hewitt, R-Slidell, chairperson of the Senate and Governmental Affairs Committee and author of the map, said her bill […]

Critical race theory ‘not a component’ of updated Louisiana social studies standards

By: - February 8, 2022

In the latest draft of Louisiana K-12 schools’ social studies standards, state education Superintendent Cade Brumley said critical race theory “was not a component of these standards, nor would any of these standards open the door for any form of indoctrination.” The social studies standards are guidelines for the content and timeline of what history […]

Senators review 4 BESE maps; 3 add another minority district

By: - February 7, 2022

Three of the four proposed state school board maps a Louisiana Senate committee reviewed Monday add an additional majority-minority district. Proponents say the additional district is needed to make sure the state complies with federal law – and to avoid a likely lawsuit. About ​​57% of Louisiana public school students are people of color, according […]

House panel advances bill that keeps BESE at 2 majority-minority districts

By: - February 4, 2022

A version of the state school board map with only two majority-minority districts out of eight advanced from a Louisiana House committee Friday afternoon. Lawmakers voted 12-5 to approve the proposal, one of several under consideration during a special redistricting session. Rep. Polly Thomas, R-Metairie, who authored the draft of the Board of Elementary and […]

Louisiana school board task force rejects $80 million budget increase for public schools

By: - February 3, 2022

A state school board task force Thursday rejected a recommendation for an $80 million boost for Louisiana’s public school but backed Gov. John Bel Edwards’ proposal to increase pay for teachers and support staff. The task force guides the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education (BESE) on the Minimum Foundation Program, the complex algorithm used […]

Louisiana Capitol Building

Louisiana Legislature starts working on new political maps

By: , , and - February 2, 2022

The Louisiana Legislature opened its special session on political redistricting Tuesday with 22 proposals for reworking boundaries for the state’s seats in Congress, the state Senate, Board of Elementary and Secondary Education, Public Service Commission and on the state Supreme Court. More proposals are in the works for the Louisiana House of Representatives. Dozens of […]