In April of this year, Louisiana lawmakers passed two education bills which included enormous progress for school choice in that state. These bills established the largest voucher program in the country, curtailed teacher tenure, expanded charter schools, and tied educator pay and job security to student performance, allowing over 400,000 children new choice in education.
Governor Bobby Jindal was a staunch supporter of the plan as his state ranks 49th overall in education performance on the NEAP. As Jindal said “This is not about the next election, This is not about the next poll. This is about the next generation,” Jindal said “This is important for Louisiana. It’s also important for America. If we want to preserve the American dream for our children, if we want them to do better than we did, then it is important they get a great education.” Teachers unions, however, promised to mount a legal battle to prevent the changes from taking effect this fall (or, in the case of tenure, in the 2013-14 school year).
Jindal’s spokesman told The Daily Caller “The coalition of the status quo has fought reform every step of the way, so it is no surprise teacher unions are making this last ditch effort to convince the courts to overrule the vote of the people and the Legislature. Holding up these reforms in court would only deny parents and students the opportunity to escape failing schools.” However the court rules in today’s hearing, the fight likely is not over. With kids trapped in failing schools, we can only hope the legislative process moves as quickly as possible.