Louisiana Democrat Breaks Ranks To Join School Choice Crusade

Democrats are not happy when one of their rank and file examines the facts and makes a decision for themselves. They are certainly furious with Rep. Jason Hughes of New Orleans, who gave an impassioned speech in favor of school choice on Monday.

Confronted with evidence, he joined six other rebellious Democrats and 65 Republicans in passing a new school choice bill. The measure, which now proceeds to the Senate, would create an education savings account (ESA) to give parents of students trapped in failing schools a choice.

Hughes’ words on the Louisiana House floor quickly went viral. 

His speech almost immediately reached half a million views on X, formerly Twitter. “As I watch children in poverty, trapped in failing schools, who can hardly read, I’ll be damned if I will continue to defend the status quo.”

Hughes said too many Louisiana children simply drop out of school. Even with this clear evidence of state failure, people still “wonder why we have to have a crime session.”

The Democrat admitted that he may face political ramifications for taking such a stand for the kids of the state.

Then he added, “But I don’t need this $16,800 a year job bad enough to watch our children continue to live in poverty, and trapped in failing schools, and not try to do something.”

The ESA endorsed by the state House is modeled after programs already enacted by several other states. It allows parents to utilize public funding to cover educational expenses such as private school tuition, homeschooling expenses and instructional materials.

ESAs are one of a variety of school choice vehicles gaining popularity in red states. Others include school vouchers, tax credit scholarships and tuition tax credit programs.

Other avenues include charter schools, magnet schools and homeschooling. 

The emotional Hughes told his colleagues that he could no longer ignore “the 67% of third graders in public schools who cannot read.”

He said parents are trapped along with their children. Mothers and fathers working minimum wage jobs are not financially capable of sending their kids to a better school and are left with no alternatives.

For Louisiana parents, those days may be drawing to a close.

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  • G
    April 12, 2024
    Grampa

    Why must parents need to make choices to get a good education for a child. When schools are funded by the state and county in which they are in the funding accounts for what? dollars spent on each student? it may have the same dollar amount but it isn’t equal. when some of the highest paid officials come from some of the porest districts then we have a problem. Just who decides where these funds are spent? when funding goes to friends and family that gets the prime repair needs of the building without oversight to see it is done we have a problem. when friends and family get contracts to provide the food service for the school who holds them accountable to deliver what is demanded within the contract? do the kids get hot meals or boxed lunches that use the guidelines from the Obama era? The same goes for books and supplies like toilet paper. Are the teachers qualified or hired under the DIVERSITY AND INCLUSION STANDARDS? How many days do the kids attend classes? does anyone check? does the school offer trade programs to show the kids what is available and what they can make as wages? do schools allow the lending institutions in to show what student loans will really cost and what the real costs are? does the schools teach history? Math and English? Companies dont want people with the we, be grammar. So many push sports on kids with pipe dreams of big money and success when only one in a hundred thousand ever makes it up far enough to compete. I hired a young man from a Detroit school that had a diplomia that couldn’t fill out my job application form. Why? he couldnt read or write. he was their football star so they pushed him along and he graduated unable to be a viable resource for anyone. destined for low paying jobs. If I will point fingers of blame I point to government. they have failed our young. we as Americans wonder why Asians come to this country and excel taking top positions? it is because they must compete for top positions at the best schools. nothing is free. if one wants to have a good life they must qualify for it. In this country many are told they deserve that better job because of skin color or gender. when they cant do the job they cant be fired because of laws to “protect them” they are given the do nothing jobs they are “promoted ” to and go nowhere else. Time for parents to demand an accounting of where every cent goes. determine if that administrator is worth his position. look at the lessons taught. sit in on the classes to see if the teacher has control or knows what she is teaching. only we can correct our schools government cant correct the problems government is the problem.—– I, Grampa

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