Bobby Jindal on Families & Children
Republican Governor; previously Representative (LA-1)
On paper, Jindal seems like an improbable candidate to marshal the religious right in the culture wars. He is an ethnic minority in a movement that is almost entirely white. Perhaps most problematically, Jindal was raised Hindu, and became a Catholic in his late teens only after a complicated, and sometimes messy, conversion that he later detailed in a series of articles for an obscure religious journal. The articles are nuanced, fascinating, and deeply human, revealing a level of self-awareness and sophistication about faith that is uncommon among aspiring politicians.
Studies consistently show children in broken homes are four times more likely to live in poverty. The poverty rate for children of married couples is 8.2%, compared to 35.2%--four times higher--for children of single parents. While recognizing the heroic work done by single moms across the country, we cannot ignore the evidence that families matter, that children of two-parent households tend to do better, and that the family unit is the foundation of society.
We have spent trillions of dollars to fight poverty with meager results. Why? Because simply throwing money at the problem will not fix it. Poverty, like so many other economic problems, is not simply about money. It's about values that work.
We will increase penalties for school employees who abuse or neglect special education students--including our deaf and blind students. We must take extra initiative to protect our children--especially when they are entrusted to the care of education professionals when their parents send them to school.
I will support legislation to increase penalties and background checks to make sure predators stay away from our kids--especially in our schools.
Next session, we will also work to take the next step in our involuntary civil commitment pilot program legislation passed last session. We will also work to impose additional penalties when sex offenders fail to submit to electronic monitoring as required by law.