The Times Picayune recently published an article that begins with an assertion that “One third of Louisiana’s voucher students are enrolled at private schools doing such a poor job of educating them that the schools have been barred from taking new voucher students…” One need not read much further to conclude that the author of the article is, at the very least, skeptical of the Louisiana Scholarship Program (LSP). Unfortunately, the article also perpetuates some misinformation about the program. While working on this program at the Louisiana Department of Education (LDE), I spent countless hours setting the record straight for confused families and schools and know the importance of making sure accurate information gets to them.
The LSP gives low-income families, whose children previously attended a failing public school, the option to enroll in a participating private school of their choice. Despite the U.S. Supreme Court’s 2002 ruling allowing school vouchers, programs like the LSP stir controversy because they allow families to use public funds to enroll their children in private schools. The controversy often leads to confusion, which hinders families’ abilities to make fully informed decisions. That is why I want to correct three points made in this article that I believe are misleading.