Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Kevin P. Chavous Gets it Right on Education Reform in Louisiana

While special interests have been more concerned with, well, special interests, than providing the best education for our children, advocates have been fighting for more educational choice for low-income families in Louisiana.

The state's governor, Bobby Jindal, earlier this year joined with a bipartisan coalition of state legislators to create a strong education reform package that included a statewide expansion of the Student Scholarship for Educational Excellence voucher program. And just a few months later, State School Superintendent John White put forth an accountability proposal that would further strengthen the program.

Alternatively, special interests sued the state over the expanded voucher program, attacked the officials that stood for children, and argued that “public money should go to public schools.”

Luckily, AFC Senior Advisor Kevin P. Chavous set the record straight in a letter to the editor in The Times-Picayune: public money should go to educate children in the best way possible, regardless of the system. Here’s what Kevin had to say:

Re: "Public money should go to public schools," Your Opinions, Oct. 16. State School Superintendent John White's support for the state voucher program is perfectly in line with his commitment to public schools, but more importantly, it's consistent with his commitment to making sure all children -- regardless of the system -- have access to a high-quality education.

For many families, that means a public school, but what about the families for which the public schools simply aren't working? In a state where 36 percent of all public schools are ranked D's or F's and 230,000 public school students are currently performing below grade level, the truth is that we need to give many families another option -- immediately. We've talked for decades about improving our public school system, but the pace of reform is too slow, and Louisiana has always ranked in the bottom five in K-12 public education outcomes.

Read Kevin's full letter by clicking here.

- American Federation for Children | Alliance for School Choice, MSG

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