Parent: Gov. Edwards “Lied to me. He Lied to my child.”
New commercial targets Gov. John Bel Edwards for lying about his promise not to repeal educational choice for Louisiana’s disadvantaged children
The Louisiana Federation for Children (LFC), the state’s voice for educational choice, has released a new television advertisement with Louisiana parents asking why Governor John Bel Edwards is breaking his promise to them by drastically cutting the budget of the Louisiana Scholarship Program.
The ad features three mothers who have children enrolled in private schools that participate in the Louisiana Scholarship Program. One of them says of the governor, “He lied to me. He lied to my child.”
“In his State of the State address, Governor Edwards said he wanted to provide a choice to parents whose children are trapped in failing schools. He said the same thing to voters on several occasions while campaigning,” said Ann Duplessis, president of the Louisiana Federation for Children.
The Times-Picayune/NOLA.com reported on Dec. 15, 2015, that “Edwards doesn’t want to ban vouchers or take them away from students who receive them now.”
However, Governor Edwards broke that commitment and proceeded to propose a drastic reduction in funding for the Louisiana Scholarship Program in the administration’s executive budget. This proposed cut means an estimated 1,000 students would be eliminated from the scholarship program.
During the House Appropriations Committee hearing on April 12, the governor included $36 million in House Bill 1 to fund the Scholarship program. This is far below the current budget amount of $42 million and less than the $47 million needed.
“A 14-percent cut to the Louisiana Scholarship Program will cause hundreds of families who currently receive scholarships to have to find a way to pay tuition or be forced to return to underperforming public schools,” Duplessis added.
“Governor Edwards must not be allowed to reverse the important K-12 education reforms of the past decade. LFC will fight relentlessly on behalf of parents to preserve and grow the program that allows low-income families to choose how their children are educated.”
The six-figure ad buy will run on Baton Rouge television and radio, and will include a substantial digital media component.
View the ad here:
To learn more about how John Bel Edwards is failing Louisiana’s children, visit JohnBelFailedUs.com.
Louisiana Scholarship Program Facts:
- The Louisiana Scholarship Program was created in 2008 by a bipartisan group of legislators and was expanded statewide in 2012, again with significant bipartisan support.
- 100% of the program students come from low-income families assigned to poorly-performing or failing schools.
- 88.6% of students participating in the program are minorities.
- The Louisiana Department of Education’s 2015 Louisiana Nonpublic School Choice Annual Report finds that students using the Louisiana Scholarship Program are making significant academic gains – closing the achievement gap with the statewide average by almost half (44 percent gap reduction) over the last five years for students in grades 3-8 achieving at least “Basic” proficiency.
The Louisiana Federation for Children seeks to improve our Louisiana’s K-12 education by advancing systemic and sustainable public policy that empowers parents, particularly those in low-income families, to choose the education they determine is best for their children. LFC supports a wide range of school choice initiatives by building strong legislative coalitions and working closely with allies. We also fight against bills and regulatory changes that would hurt existing school choice programs.
Paul Dauphin, Louisiana Director of Communications