Amy Jeffries

Amy started her career in public radio at WNPR in Hartford, CT more than a decade ago. NPR flew her in to Baton Rouge to help WRKF cover the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina while she was still based in the North. Here she found her journalistic calling.

After getting a Master of Journalism degree from the University of California, Berkeley and taking a detour through online media as a local editor for Patch, she finally returned to public radio and to Baton Rouge in January 2012.

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WRKF
11:59 am
Wed June 19, 2013

Funding Formula, Legislative Process Focus Of Voucher Trial's First Day

The trial in the lawsuit from teacher unions and local school boards seeking to shutdown a statewide voucher program began Wednesday.

A state judge heard more than eight hours of complex testimony in 19th District Court.

 


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WRKF
6:23 am
Wed June 19, 2013

Some Funds Slated For Districts To Go To 'Course Choice'

Originally published on Wed June 19, 2013 2:08 pm

The state's top school board has approved $2 million in financing to pay for students to take individual classes elsewhere if their public school is underperforming or doesn't offer a course they want.

The money for the "Course Choice" program will be drawn from a state education trust fund stemming from an old oil drilling settlement, including $1 million that had been slated for local districts.

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WRKF
4:29 pm
Mon June 17, 2013

Board of Ed. To Consider Alternative Funding For 'Course Choice'

Originally published on Wed June 19, 2013 6:22 am

State Supt. John White wants to reallocate $2 million from a state education trust fund to pilot the “Course Choice” program. The program will let students take individual classes elsewhere if their public school is underperforming or doesn’t offer the course they want. The state’s top school board will consider the alternative funding request Tuesday.

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WRKF
3:40 pm
Fri June 14, 2013

The Advocate's Secret Weapon: A Speedy Press

Originally published on Thu June 13, 2013 9:30 am

It's sort of a fluke.

The Baton Rouge paper had been nursing its 1950s era letterpresses for years when it finally had to bite the bullet and invest in a new production facility. The speedy offset press came online in 2006, just as the country headed into a recession and the newspaper industry was tanking.

So when John Georges closed the deal to buy The Advocate in May, it came with one of the newest printing presses in the country.


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WRKF
5:52 am
Fri June 14, 2013

Seeds Planted For Chess Culture In Baton Rouge Schools

Originally published on Sat June 15, 2013 9:59 am

About 200 teachers from 42 schools in the East Baton Rouge Parish district have signed up for workshops this summer to learn how to start chess clubs and use the game in their classrooms. The first batch of teachers capped off their training with a mini tournament Thursday.


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WRKF
5:28 pm
Fri May 31, 2013

Keeping Track Of Refinery Emissions

Originally published on Mon June 3, 2013 8:56 am

In its "Poisoned Places" series, NPR reports that industry here in Louisiana is emitting more smog-producing chemicals than it should and regulators aren't doing enough to curtail the pollution.

Elizabeth Shogren honed in on Exxon's Baton Rouge refinery and the smoke Almena Poray sees from the front porch of her house, a block from the refinery's south gate.

"That's something you see every day," Poray told the NPR reporter. "Sometimes it's a darker gray, sometimes it's a black smoke coming out."

Ed Overton, professor emeritus of environmental science at LSU, and Robert Berg, state regulatory advisor for Exxon talk more about what Poray is seeing and breathing from her front porch.


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WRKF
5:53 pm
Thu May 30, 2013

Senators Reject Delay of Teacher Evaluation, School Grading Changes

Attempts to slow down parts of a public education overhaul have been quashed.

The Senate Education Committee opted Thursday not to take action on a bill that would have put off changes to the school grading system that take ACT results into account.

Rep. Kenny Havard, who authored the bill, said using the college entrance exam in performance score calculations will penalize schools where career-bound students opt not to prepare for or take the test. Schools graded a “C” or worse by the state can lose students and resources.

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WRKF
11:36 am
Sat May 25, 2013

Course Choice Scaled Back After Court Ruling

State Superintendent John White wants to scrape the Department of Education's administrative budget to pay for public school students to take individual courses from private providers.

The Course Choice program had been included in the formula that supports public schools. But the same state Supreme Court ruling that shuttled the planned financing for vouchers, said those funds couldn't go to the new classes either.

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WRKF
8:57 am
Thu May 23, 2013

Dust Settled, Lawmakers More Measured on Education Reforms

Originally published on Wed July 24, 2013 4:24 pm

Earlier this month, Louisiana's Supreme Court ruled that the way the state's private school voucher program was paid for was unconstitutional. It can't be paid for through the Minimum Foundation Formula, or MFP -- the pool of money that supports public education.

Rep. Kirk Talbot, a Republican from New Orleans who voted in favor of the education overhaul Gov. Bobby Jindal pushed hard for last year, says the missteps in the funding of the voucher program gave some in the legislature, " a little bit of heartburn."

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WRKF
3:32 am
Fri May 17, 2013

Analyst Cokie Roberts Steeped In Louisiana Politics

Steve Fenn ABC, Inc.

Originally published on Mon May 20, 2013 8:37 am

NPR News Analyst Cokie Roberts grew up in Louisiana in the 1940 and 50s -- the daughter of Hale and Lindy Boggs, who both represented New Orleans in Congress.

Cokie was home, here in Louisiana yesterday, to deliver the keynote speech at LSU's commencement ceremony.

Before all the pomp and circumstance, WRKF's Amy Jeffries caught up with her.


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