24 Days of Giving Thanks – Day 3

For day 3 of our 24 Days of Giving Thanks, a monthlong celebration of school choice and those whose work has helped children access a quality education, we are recognizing Ann Duplessis for her leadership and longstanding commitment to children in Louisiana.
As President of the Louisiana Federation for Children, Duplessis leads the effort to protect, grow and expand school choice options for low and middle-income children.
When Duplessis was elected to the Louisiana State Senate in 2004, one year before Hurricane Katrina, her goals were centered on improving her New Orleans East community – job opportunities, economic development and safer streets. Shortly after taking office, Duplessis experienced what she calls her “aha” moment. She was overwhelmed with the pleas of her constituency regarding the turmoil, disorganization and dysfunction of New Orleans’ public school system.
“Parents were calling and visiting my Senate office begging me to do something to help their children. The public school system in New Orleans had hit rock bottom,” Duplessis recalls. In response to the outcry, Duplessis joined a burgeoning group of reformers to enact legislation that would pave the way for the school choice options Louisiana families enjoy today.
Following Hurricane Katrina, Duplessis authored a bill that allowed the state to take over the majority of schools in Orleans Parish, leading to the thriving charter school movement in New Orleans.
In 2008, she led the effort in the Louisiana Senate to pass HB 1347, which created the Student Scholarships for Educational Excellence program in New Orleans in 2008. Now statewide, the Louisiana Scholarship Program is providing tuition vouchers that allow more than 7,000 students who were stuck in failing and substandard public schools to attend a private school of their parent’s choice.
Watch LFC’s Ann Duplessis discuss Lousiana’s new educational landscape:

At AFC, we are thankful for great leaders and advocates like Ann Duplessis!  Join AFC and Ann in the effort to reform our nation’s broken education system and have it work for every child. Every dollar donated goes towards helping children find a pathway to success.


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