Anyone who saw during the gubernatorial campaign just how slavishly devoted John Bel Edwards was to teacher’s unions could have seen this coming. John Bel Edwards is doing his best to protect one of the biggest special interest groups that supported him during the election, and his fellow Democrats are going along with the plan.
With all his talk of supporting education, there is nothing in what he’s done that suggests he has any interest in supporting the children in the education system. The Wall Street Journal picked up on this in an editorial that was posted last week.
Mr. Edwards this week proposed restrictions on the Louisiana Scholarship Program, which allows low-income students in schools rated by the state as C, D or F to apply for a scholarship to attend a parochial or private school. The initiative started thanks to former Republican Gov. Bobby Jindal and serves more than 7,100 students, almost 90% of whom are minorities.
The Governor would limit scholarships only to students stuck in D or F schools. He says C schools “by definition, are not failing” and what an aspirational view of education that is. Some Louisiana schools get a C grade even if fewer than 25% of students achieved what the state calls “mastery,” which it defines as “well prepared for the next level of studies.” Last year some 365 state schools earned a C, more than the number that notched D and F combined. More than one in three voucher students hail from a C school.
It goes on to list the other ways Edwards is trying to keep minority children in bad schools – and, yes, there are such things as bad schools. Restricting the growth of charter schools, reducing the voucher program, and using whatever other means are necessary to force children to stay in the schools they are zoned for (meaning, lower income children in lower educated population centers are forced to go to schools in those conditions regardless of their own individual ability or potential).
As the WSJ piece says in its opening, Democrats talk about equality for all races, but when it comes down to education, the children of different races must be cast aside in order to keep unions happy. The move to stifle these and other school choice initiatives shows how much the Democrats prefer special interests over the actual well-being of children who want for a better chance at education.
It is sickening.