Louisiana has made great strides in the past four years. In the face of a national recession that is unlike anything our country has faced in 70 years, Louisiana is growing and on the move.
We’ve made great progress, and we’ve made it together, but I’m not going to list out all the things that we accomplished during our last term. Why? Because that was yesterday, and as Louisianians, we are relentlessly focused on the future, not the past. Other nations look back to the glory days, believing that their best days are behind them. Our best days are ahead of us, they always are.
As we look out over the next four years, we will of course face many challenges. I’m confident that Louisiana can and will overcome both the obstacles known today and those unforeseen in our future. I’m confident because I’ve seen firsthand the passion and resilience our people have shown when disaster strikes, and seen the enthusiasm and spirit with which they embraced reform over the status quo.
It is that same attitude and vigor, the Spirit of Louisiana as I call it, with which we must continue to build a better Louisiana for our children and grandchildren. We must grow our economy even faster, reform our education system even more aggressively to give our kids the best chance to succeed, and we’ve got to squeeze every bit of waste out of government to make it work better for all Louisianians.
As we look ahead to another four years in office, one thing is clear, more bold reforms are needed, especially and most urgently in our education system. That’s why education reform will be our top priority in the next legislative session.
We must give more choices to parents of kids trapped in failing schools, reward teacher excellence by building on our value-added program, and hold schools accountable for their failure to educate our children to even basic grade level standards. Our kids only grow up once and we don’t have a second to waste to make sure they have the tools to succeed in the classroom.
I am humbled and deeply honored that you have chosen to give me four more years as your Governor, and I pledge to the people that I will never coast. I don’t believe in coasting. I will use every day of these next four years to continue to make Louisiana the best place in the world to raise a family and start a career.
I promise that I will give my all. If we have to fight hurricanes, we will. If we have to fight oil spills, we will. If we have to fight the federal government, we will.
The bottom line is this we’ve made great progress over the past four years and we’ve overcome major challenges, but we cannot rest on our past successes, we must get up every single day and give it our all for Louisiana.