In the wake of the Mississippi House’s rejection of education vouchers for 500 special needs students, Louisiana reports 91.9% of parents are happy with the Louisiana Scholarship Program. The program provides funds for parents to choose a school of their choice if they have incomes below 250% of the federal poverty limit and are enrolled in a public school with a C, D, or F grade. Of those parents, 91.6% said they are happy with academic progress.
Louisiana’s program now supports 6,490 families. Despite documented academic successes which led Louisiana’s legislature to roll-out the program statewide, the program had to survive a Justice Department lawsuit last year that alleged the program “impede[d] desegregation.” Keep in mind, all the students benefitting from the vouchers are poor and most are minorities!
Just as Louisiana had to fight unions and the federal government to get and then keep the voucher program in place, Mississippi will have to fight those that benefit from the status quo. Where does your state Senator or state Representative stand? Below is how Gulf Coast Representatives voted on vouchers for special needs students:
- Jeramey D. Anderson (110)–Nay
- David Baria (122)–Nay
- Sonya Williams-Barnes (119)–Nay
- Manly Barton (109)–Yea
- Richard Bennett (120)–Yea
- Charles Busby (111)–Yea
- Carolyn Crawford (121)–Yea
- Scott DeLano (117)–Yea
- Casey Eure (116)–Yea
- Jeffrey S. Guice, Harrison & Jackson Counties (114)–Yea
- Greg Haney (118)–Nay
- Timmy Ladner, Hancock & Harrison Counties (93)–Yea
- Doug McLeod (107)–Yea
- Randall H. Patterson (115)–Nay
- John O. Read (112)–Yea
- Patricia Willis, Hancock & Harrison Counties (95)–Yea
- H.B. “Hank” Zuber, III (113)–Yea
Even if they voted with your desires in the 2014 session, be sure to let them know what you think. Nothing keeps them from changing their vote in the future except accountability to constituents.
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