Meet Leonard Lucas, a former, one-term Louisiana State Representative and erstwhile candidate for New Orleans City Council. When Mr. Lucas sent out a press advisory announcing his candidacy for City Council, here’s how The Times-Picayune reported the news:
Lucas, the founding pastor of Light City Church and a one-term state representative, sent out a statement riddled with grammatical errors saying he will formally announce his candidacy today at 1 p.m. at the shuttered Schwegmann’s Shopping Center on Bullard Road.
Mr. Lucas is also the proud owner and registered agent of at least three dozen different companies, the overwhelming majority of which are non-profits (or, to borrow a term from my friend Dambala, “con-profits”) listed as “Not in Good Standing” by the Louisiana Secretary of State.
Dambala excavated the bones a few months ago. Suffice it to say, Leonard Lucas is a shady, almost comically ridiculous figure. He’s named as a registered agent for numerous non-profits, yet none of those companies disclosed their 990 returns.
And all of this apparently qualifies Mr. Lucas for nearly $700,000 a year in public voucher funding for his school. Mr. Lucas’s school requested a total of 163 voucher spots at $4,555 per student. To be clear, the Jindal Administration, in the first year, has already preliminarily granted eighty spots, at a cost of $364,000. Quoting from his church’s “School of Prophets” website, which, as a reader pointed out to me, should not be confused with his Light City Academy webpage (even though both are hosted on the same domain and both appear to be organized under the same 501c3, Light City Church):
The Light City Church School of the Prophets is a training institute for those who sense the flow and pull of the prophetic upon their lives. The mandate of the school of the Prophets just as it was in the Old Testament days is to train men and women effectively in the prophetic. It is a time of proper training, mentoring, and developing of the spirit in the prophetic realm. It is a time that you are taught how to hear from God, how to speak the mind of God, and how to nurture the gift of prophecy.Those individuals that accept the challenge to attend must have an understanding that they are yielding themselves to the tutelage of Apostle Leonard Lucas Jr., who walks in the fullness of his calling and wears the mantle of an Apostle and Prophet. If you believe this is the calling upon your life, we invite you to join us for dynamic teaching and thought provoking sessions. Classes are held every Friday at 7:00pm at Light City Church, located at 6117 St. Claude Ave. Please call 504-301-4593 for more information.
Light City Christian Academy is a small school located in inner-city New Orleans. Students may begin as early as age five in kindergarten and continue their studies until the completion of High School. We have a·90% success rate of our graduates continuing higher studies in Universities across the state. We are a state approved private school.
The Academy is the realization of the vision of Leonard and Varnise Lucas. At the inception of the Academy, their goal was and continues to be, “to educate children according to the highest academic standards possible, as well as, prepare them to become responsible, courageous leaders.”Our motto is, “Raising A Generation of Leaders.”
Apparently, upcoming events at Light City Christian Academy include catechism classes and “School of the Prophets” training. Education.com describes Light City Christian Academy as follows (bold mine):
Light City Christian Academy is located in New Orleans, LA. It is a private school that serves 53 students in grades K-12. Light City Christian Academy is coed (school has male and female students) and is Christian (no specific denomination) in orientation.
Governor Jindal and Superintendent White have, effectively, provided Light City Christian with the taxpayer funding necessary to nearly triple its enrollment, and that’s just in Year One. If all goes according to plan, Light City Christian Academy will expand its enrollment much more dramatically, from only fifty-three students to well over 200, an expansion that will be paid for and brought to you, almost entirely, by taxpayer funding.
Let’s also put this into context: Fifty-three students in grades K-12 means an average of four students per grade, which should raise questions about the legitimacy and veracity of Light City Christian Academy’s claim of a “90% success rate of graduates continuing higher studies in Universities across the state.” What does this actually mean? 90% of its dozen or so graduates have taken at least one college course in Louisiana?
I don’t know Mr. Lucas personally, but I know this: He is not an Apostle. He is not a Prophet. And he does not deserve or merit taxpayer dollars. If anything, he deserves a thorough audit.
But in Bobby Jindal’s Louisiana, with the full support of Superintendent John White, Apostle/Prophet Lucas is the future of education.
Lord help us.