Senator Bill Cassidy speaks out in favor of school choice

Senator Bill Cassidy speaks out in favor of school choice
Published: Feb. 8, 2022 at 6:09 PM CST
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MONROE, La. (KNOE) - Could parents soon choose any school in the state to send their child to?

Louisiana Senator Bill Cassidy says it could be a way to improve education in Louisiana.

“Anything that gives more power to the parent, almost always the mom, but I’ll just say the parent is good,” Senator Cassidy told reporters Tuesday.

Cassidy believes parents should have the right to send their children to any school in the state.

“If the child has special needs that are not being met at the school he or she is attending,” explained Cassidy. “They should have the opportunity to attend a school which does.”

Currently, Louisiana gives students in failing schools the option to attend a better school in their district. Bill Willson of the Monroe City School Board says the system works pretty well.

“Encourages those D and F schools to up their game,” Willson told KNOE. “To where they get to the C, B, A levels. It also incentivizes the students and their parents to try and seek the best education within the school system they can.”

Cassidy says ten years ago, San Francisco adopted a school choice plan to great success.

“Satisfaction with the school system increased,” Cassidy explained. “Parents were more likely to put their children in a public school because they could choose the one that worked for them.”

Willson says he is in favor of the idea as long as students remain in the district they are assigned to.

“Even if you had a school that was D or F starting to lose a lot of students, the school system could still help that school monetarily because if that student stays in the system at another high school, explained Willson. “The system is still getting that tax money.”

Louisiana also offers a voucher program allowing some low-income students in low-performing schools to attend private schools.

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