John Bel Edwards’ War On School Choice Claims Its First Casualties

This was inevitable when the governor chose to pay for his $2.4 billion increase in the Department of Health and Hospitals budget, guaranteed to make rich people out of his lobbyist and politico cronies via the lucrative contracts to come, on the backs of poor kids whose parents want a better education for them than the lousy government schools can provide.

The kids will get nothing, except for a mad scramble to find a lousy government school to attend or some means of financing to pay private school tuition for themselves…

Less than a month before the new school year starts, state budget cuts are hitting some parents hard.

Some state-issued scholarships that allow low-income families to send their children to private schools have been revoked.

Nicole Jack is looking forward to starting first grade at Our Lady of Prompt Succor, in Westwego, this fall.

“My daughter is very gifted. She makes straight A’s, she reads beyond her grade level, so she deserves to go to a better school,” said Nikesha Hudson.

She applied to the Louisiana Scholarship Program to get help with paying for the $4,800 tuition.

“I got the email saying she did get the scholarship,” Hudson said.

That email came from the Louisiana Department of Education on April 21 and also said her child’s placement for this school “depends upon the continuation of funding for the Louisiana Scholarship Program for the 2016-17 school year.”

Hudson still registered her daughter at the school and spent $300 on uniforms, but after no further correspondence from the school she started asking questions.

“They looked at the list and my daughter’s name wasn’t on the list. She said, ‘Well maybe she’s one of the kids that got cut,'” said Hudson.

She was told a total of 17 children granted scholarships to the school would not receive them.

“When I asked her about notification, she said the state said they would send out a letter and notify the parents and that’s why the school didn’t, but that didn’t happen until yesterday,” Hudson said.

In the second email from the Department of Education, Hudson was told, “Given the current amount of funding that the Louisiana Legislature has allocated, we are not able to honor your child’s scholarship award.”

And a money quote…

“I don’t know what to do because I have all these uniforms, and my daughter is crushed because she thought she was going to that school,” she said.

The state school voucher program is a miniscule item in Louisiana’s $26 billion budget, and yet it took a massive cut this year despite a massive overall budget increase. Which is an active, hostile act by the governor in service to his masters in the teacher unions.

Here’s the damage…

According to the Department of Education, there were 10,995 scholarship applications received for the 2016-17 school year.

The department made 1,814 new scholarship awards to students this year, and 1,480 registered with their new school and accepted their award. The department will likely be able to honor between 900 and 1,100 of the 1,480 new awards immediately. Remaining students will be placed on a waitlist for enrollment on a quarterly basis throughout the school year.

The department made 6,422 awards to continuing students who had an award for the 2015-2016 school year. Those students are not required to complete registration at their school again to confirm their award.

Translation: John Bel Edwards is directly responsible for screwing 500 poor kids in Louisiana, the majority of whom are black, out of an education their parents are trying to get for them.

And he did this despite raising your taxes by some $2 billion, including raising the state’s sales tax to the highest level in the country – which also disproportionately affects those same poor people whose kids he’s working to trap in lousy government schools.

You’ll hear quite a bit more on this subject as the academic year begins.

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