Where John Bel Edwards spoke is probably more important than what he said. Edwards spoke the annual convention of the Louisiana Federation of Teachers. The LFT, along with the Louisiana Educators Association, were strong supporters of Edwards. It’s a given that he would speak in front of the teachers unions first.
Here’s what Edwards said according to KPLC:
Contrary to what has been said about him, Edwards said he is not against charter schools. He does believe they need to be held accountable.
“I’m going to make sure they have accountability. It’s not about ending choice; it’s about informed choice,” he said.
As for the voucher program, Edwards said he thought it was unconstitutional and he voted against it.
“It doesn’t make sense to me. Some of the worst-performing schools in the state are voucher schools,” he said. “I don’t plan on taking out the voucher program completely. We’re going to stop diverting resources that don’t make sense.”
What this means is that Edwards is not going to kill off charter schools and the voucher program in one blow. There will be no bill to kill them off, yet. That’s going to be for a second term.
The Edwards plan is to regulate them to death. What he will try to do is get legislation passed that would more tightly regulate charter schools and restrict the vouchers. Edwards will sell it as a part of “more informed choice” for parents. The goal will not to be inform parents, but to make it harder for charter schools to operate.
Meanwhile, the voucher program will be regulated to near useless. Edwards will actually have more political leeway on this given that the results of the vouchers have not been good so far to say the least.
Edwards is not a stupid man, but he is a leftist ideologuge. He is skilled enough to know that he can’t turn Louisiana blue too much right away or the even faux conservative Republicans in the Legislature will push back.
The Edwards plan to turn Louisiana blue will be “death by a 1,000 cuts.” Conservatives need to prepare accordingly.