I posted yesterday about Louisiana’s passage of a school voucher program. Republican leaders say the vouchers will be in place later this spring.
In that post, I used a quote from an article from The Town Talk, a Louisiana news organization.
In that same article, I found several disturbing quotes from one of the state’s Democrats, Sam Jones, in which he tries to draw a bizarre analogy about school choice & the death of Jesus. I’m not sure if this really got any coverage regionally or nationally, but it should have.
From the article:
“Are we going to be the first state to write a church a check? Think about it … I am appalled about how many religious denominations of schools ran up here to get this money.”
[Jones] reminded the House that Jesus said to “give unto Caesar what is owed to Caesar” but “the only time government dealt with him, they ordered his execution. This is a line we should not cross.”
I suppose Rep. Jones thinks the government should stay out of church affairs then? So it is safe to assume that he opposes Obamacare’s birth control mandate?
I draw attention to these comments for two reasons.
1. They’re outrageous & Rep. Jones deserves to be publicly shamed for these comments.
2. Supporters of school choice in Arkansas need to prepare for these types of outrageous, offensive attacks. Because come next January, when our own school choice battle kicks off, this will happen here. We need to be ready.
Just for kicks: Jones also added, “Every child is different and has different needs.”
Maybe he is a believer in school choice after all.
From The Friedman Foundation:
[Thursday, April 5], by a vote of 60-42, the Louisiana House of Representatives approved Gov. Jindal’s voucher expansion, which passed the Senate [April 4] 24-15.
“This is a momentous day for the families of Louisiana,” State Superintendent of Education John White said. “All students deserve a fair chance in life, and that begins with the opportunity to attend a high-quality school. These policy changes are aligned with that central belief, and Gov. Jindal and state lawmakers have demonstrated a clear commitment to prioritize the educational rights of Louisiana’s next generation above all else.”
The expansion of the Student Scholarships for Educational Excellence Program will allow low- and middle-income students in Louisiana public schools graded “C,” “D,” or “F” by the state accountability system to receive government-funded vouchers to attend private schools. Currently, that option is available only to children in New Orleans and students with special needs in eligible parishes.
Governor Bobby Jindal said he is “not declaring victory, mission accomplished” because “we’ve still got a lot of work in this session,” like a bill that grants rebates to individuals and corporations that contribute money for vouchers.
But there is no disputing this is a huge step forward for education in The Bayou State.
Arkansas legislators should now go sit in the corner & reflect on the fact that Louisiana is now ahead of us in education reform.
Governor Bobby Jindal & Republicans in Louisiana are pushing to expand school choices for families. The state currently has a limited form of school choice, according to The Pelican Post:
The Student Scholarship for Educational Excellence Program currently serves 1,912 students. It offers vouchers which average $4,863 each to low-income pupils in New Orleans in grades K-6 only. Jindal’s proposal would expand the program to the entire state and include students who attend schools graded C, D, or F among other criteria.
But of course the proposal is not going through without a fight & some good ole fashioned name-calling by state Democrats. One Democrat, Rep. John Bel Edwards, has even gone so far as to call the governor & supporters of the reforms Nazis.
Predictable, sad and, regrettably, perhaps a preview of what’s to come as Arkansas preps for its own school choice battle next year.
You can hear the audio in this report: