Thursday, May 31, 2012

Vouchers without Classrooms

I hope my readers will read the article linked here by Barbara Leader of the Monroe News Star. It describes the first of many atrocities we can expect as Louisiana's new voucher program is implemented. Please help me check the regulations on this in either Act 2 or in Dept. regulations, but I thought that a private school would not be allowed to offer more than 20% of their seats to voucher students. This article seems to indicate that the student population in this small religious school will be allowed to more than triple as a result of vouchers.

Added 6/1/12: This voucher issue was noticed by a committee of the Legislature. Here is the follow up story on the Legislative reaction also by Barbara Leader. Check out the comments by readers. See also the Washington Post story on this.

Educators, this story is just one more of the many reasons I am recruiting educators and parents for my Defenders of Public Education data base. We cannot just stand by as children are recruited in these get rich quick schemes by small entrepreneurs and taken from many solid public schools with the blessing of Governor Jindal. If you have not yet done so, please send an email to and tell me you want to be added to our data base. Originally I stated that your zipcode would be sufficient for me to ID your legislators but in some cases street addresses are needed when there is more than one legislator in a particular zip code. So please send me an email with your home address and zip so that I can be more accurate in setting up future communications with legislators.

This data base will be notified of key issues at BESE and the legislature upon which our supporters and defenders of public education will want to take action. My messages to the data base will be in coordination with the Coalition for Louisiana Public education and the major educator organizations. Once you are informed about the issue, and you see my suggested action, you will make the final decision about how you want to contact your elected representatives.

Please send me an email today with your contact information. Many have responded so far, but thousands more are needed. Some of you have generously offered to recommend our project to many of your friends and colleagues. That is the effective way to spread this movement. Use Facebook and Twitter or good old snail mail to help us recruit more Defenders. By next legislative session, I want educators to finally have a seat at the table and get some real empowerment. (Have you ever noticed how Jindal and White use the term "empowerment of educators" every time they talk about some new action by the State that humiliates and micromanages the teaching profession?)

By early next week I hope to have an analysis for you of the new Accountability rules that are now part of the recently approved ESEA Flexibility waiver for Louisiana. Look also for information on Jindal and Legislator recall efforts.

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