School Choice Legislation Flies Through Education Committee

The Louisiana Public School Choice bill flew out of the House Education Committee today with committee members voting unanimously to send the legislation the floor of the House.

According to the Louisiana Federation for Children (LFC), the bill, authored by Sen. Ben Nevers (D-Bogalusa), will allow students who attend failing public schools to switch to higher-performing public schools.

“This bill expands educational choice to all children in Louisiana who are attending a poor-performing public school that does not work for their individual needs,” said Ann Duplessis, president of the Louisiana Federation for Children. “This bill builds on the overwhelming success and explosive growth of the Louisiana Scholarship Program.”

The school choice legislation received bipartisan support from members of the Louisiana Senate when it passed unanimously in both the Louisiana Senate Education Committee and the full Senate back in April.

If passed by the full House, the law would go into effect for the 2014-15 school year and would allow students currently enrolled in D and F-ranked public schools to switch to A, B or C-ranked public schools that have space for students.

The overwhelming support the legislation has received in the state legislature comes as the support for school choice outside of Baton Rouge has also been overwhelming.

As previously reported by the Hayride, Almost 92 percent of parents surveyed by the Louisiana Federation for Children (LFC) and the Black Alliance for Educational Options (BAEO) said they are not only satisfied with the voucher system, but they are also happy with their child’s academic progress because of the program.

The voucher program is designed to take low-income students out of failing state public schools and give them a choice of a private school. And, 89 percent of the students in the voucher program are minority students.

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