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One Step Closer to School Choice Reform in Louisiana
After many long hours of debate on the House floor last Friday, H.B. 974 and H.B.976 (two of the most controversial and boldest pieces of legislation) passed by large margins despite establishment and union opposition. Their success marked a huge victory for Governor Jindal’s bold education reform plan, and for hundreds of thousands of students currently attending failed Louisiana schools.
The tenure reform legislation, H.B.974, passed by a vote of 64-40-1. If enacted into law, H.B.974 would establish a merit-based tenure system that rewards effective teachers.
The voucher and charter school bill, H.B. 976, passed the House with a vote of 61-42-2. If enacted, H.B. 976 would allow children the opportunity to apply for tuition vouchers and remove barriers to building charter schools. Both pieces of legislation will bring much needed accountability and competition to the existing corrupt and inefficient system.
But don’t take my word for it. The numbers show Louisianans support bold education reform and reject the failing status quo. According to recent polls, over 60% of people in Louisiana support Governor Jindal’s education reform package.
The discontent is justified. According to the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), Louisiana spends just under $12,000 annually per student, yet ranks 49th in educational performance, with only 18% proficiency in reading and math.
The time for change is now.
But it won’t be easy. In the weeks leading up to a full vote on the Senate floor, opponents of reform package have spent days at the state capitol, protesting, meeting with legislators, threatening strikes to protect the jobs of under-performing teachers at the expense of students’ educational futures.
Students and parents must continue to make their voices heard.
Please take a few moments to sign the FreedomWorks petition supporting Governor Jindal’s education reform package (click here).
Please also take a few moments to call your state senator and demand they stand with kids and vote YES on H.B. 974 and H.B. 976.
For too long, the education establishment has blocked education reform. It is time to take back your education system and remind your elected official that “School choice is the right choice.”