Governor reacts to court ruling on charter schools - KNOE 8 News; KNOE-TV; KNOE.com |

Governor reacts to court ruling on charter schools

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BATON ROUGE, La., (KNOE 8 News) - Earlier today, Louisiana's Supreme Court has ruled that the funding method for a private school tuition voucher program pushed through the Legislature last year by Gov. Bobby Jindal is unconstitutional.

A short while later, the governor issued the following statement on that ruling:

"This ruling means that the Scholarship Program is alive and well. I've looked these parents and their children in the eyes and I know how important it is to give them the opportunity to get a better education. Before this reform, 44 percent of our schools were failing, we were spending nearly a billion dollars on failing schools and one-third of students were performing below grade level.

"Now the number of failing schools is decreasing, scores are increasing and more Louisiana families finally have a choice. The number of parents who want to be part of the Scholarship Program has grown by nearly 3,000 this year.

"We're disappointed the funding mechanism was rejected, but we are committed to making sure this program continues and we will fund it through the budget. The bottom line is that our kids only get one chance to grow up and we are committed to making sure choice is alive and families can send their children to the school of their choice." 

Just last week, Governor Jindal announced that the Louisiana Department of Education has successfully matched nearly 8,000 students with the school of their choice in the Louisiana Scholarship Program. These 8,000 first-round offers mark nearly 3,000 more scholarships offered to students than in 2012. Roughly 12,000 families across the state expressed interest in participating in the Louisiana Scholarship Program this spring, up from approximately 10,000 families in 2012.

During the announcement, Governor Jindal highlighted key facts regarding Louisiana's highly successful Scholarship Program, including that the percentage of third graders in the scholarship program demonstrating proficiency in math is up 23 percentage points compared to two points statewide, and in English, the percentage is up 12 points compared to three points statewide.

A recent survey conducted by the Black Alliance for Educational Options and the Louisiana Federation for Children showed that 92.5 percent of the parents of scholarship students were very satisfied with the program and 93.6 percent of parents are very satisfied with their children's academic progress.

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