Two changes clear education committee



(The Center Square) – Two changes to legislation for a universal education savings account program cleared a committee in the Louisiana House of Representatives.

Added was a requirement that students in the program must take an “assessment that is substantially aligned with its program of study.” The proposal was modified to allow a dual-enrolled high school student to use funds at a post-secondary school such as a community college.

The legislation authored by Rep. Julie Emerson, R-Carencro, Giving All True Opportunity to Rise Scholarship Program, known in the system as House Bill 745, would replace an existing voucher program for students in failing schools. There’s companion legislation in the Senate.

“I think a small subset of students who are not necessarily excelling, but they might would excel in a different or a different situation or with a different curriculum,” Emerson said. “And this bill is for those students and this is to empower their parents to be able to put them in a situation where they can thrive and we can create better education outcomes for our state and for our students here.”

Proposals in both chambers direct management by the state Department of Education. The program would allocate the state per-student cost plus a special education weight of 150% for those children to parents for qualifying education expenses such as tuition.

Any leftover funds would roll over at year’s end.

According to a brief filed by the Public Affairs Research Council of Louisiana, the program cost could be considerable at $520 million annually. That money would be disbursed to parents as 250% of federal poverty level, $7,550 per year; disabled student, $15,099; other students $5,190.

The Legislative Fiscal Office says the program would cost about $297 million per year.

The bill is supported by Gov. Jeff Landry, EdChoice, the Louisiana State Board of Elementary and Secondary Education, the Pelican Institute, Americans for Prosperity and the Louisiana Association of Business Educators.

“Louisiana is currently ranked 46th in the nation for education but with the continued support for universal ESAs, we are on the right track to create access to education opportunities that fit individual learners needs and keep talent in our great state,” said Scott Simon, state director of Americans for Prosperity. “AFP-LA is encouraged by today’s House action following last week’s Senate committee vote; we are another step closer to becoming the 12th state to pass universal school choice and break the barriers some families face when making choices for their child’s education.”

Invest in Louisiana’s executive director Jan Moller spoke against the bill, along with Louisiana School Boards Association.

“What this bill does is create a brand new entitlement program where we’re going to pay at least $5,190 of government money to more than 107,000 families in Louisiana that have already made the decision to choose a private school for their child,” Moller said, who said the cost estimates for the program are likely too low.

Read the Black Chronicle Black History Edition for Free! Click Below

Read the Black Chronicle Black History Edition for Free! Click Below



Share post:


More like this

Wisconsin threatens to withhold millions from Milwaukee Public Schools

(The Center Square) – Milwaukee Public Schools are facing...

Alito says he won’t recuse himself over wife’s flag flap

U.S. Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito told critics in...

Seattle police chief steps down amid department issues

(The Center Square) – Police Chief Adrian Diaz is...