Why is Education Swamp Now Against School Choice?
Updated: May 19
Louisiana's Education Swamp Leaders have come out full force this year against choice for families. On the same bills last year, they were silent. What's changed?
Ahead of overwhelming passage by the House, the Louisiana House Appropriations Committee heard testimony on HB 33, which provides children of military families or in foster care with an Educational Savings Account, giving parents of these unique students a choice in how to best educate their child. A parade of Louisiana's education swamp leaders and far-left activists came before the Committee, as they did the week before in the Education Committee, to oppose the bill.
Interestingly, when this same bill went through the legislature in 2021, with no opposition in either Committee and passing the House in a 96-1 vote, those same education swamp leaders were silent.
Now, less than one year later, the Louisiana School Boards Association (LSBA), the Louisiana Association of School Superintendents (LASS), the Orleans Parish Public School System, and the teachers' unions have united with far-left groups like the Louisiana Budget Project and Louisiana Progress Action to fight against giving these unique families a choice in how their children are educated.
This leaves an obvious question: If giving families a choice in how their child is educated is such a dire threat, why were these groups silent on the same bill last year?
We're not the only ones asking: Rep. Jason Hughes pushed both the Louisiana Schools Boards Association and the Louisiana Association of School Superintendents on their newfound opposition to educational choice.
Rep. Jason Hughes Questions LSBA Lobbyist Wendy Baudoin and LASS Lobbyist Michael Faulk on their new opposition to school choice- and their silence on it last year
The School Boards and Superintendents both deflected the question, saying they were focused on "COVID issues", despite, as Rep. Hughes noted, their engagement on several other pieces of legislation last session. As we've covered, the LSBA found the time last session to launch a full-court press against financial transparency for school boards, while both LSBA and LASS weighed in on countless other education related bills. They both also managed to find time to fight against releasing data on the performance of Louisiana public schools.
So, what's changed in the last year?
For Louisiana's education swamp, led by the School Boards and Superintendents, there's been little good news. First, the LSBA got caught pushing the National School Board Association's "Transgender Guide", which encouraged schools to allow biological males to compete in girls' sports and share rooms with girls on overnight trips if they identified as female- needless to say, stances unpopular with Louisiana parents. While the LSBA removed that from their website after we accessed it, we have the receipts. Amid outcry from parents across the state and nationwide, the LSBA withdrew its membership in the National School Boards Association, nearly a month after they tried to label concerned parents as domestic terrorists.
Just days letter, Virginia parents shocked the nation by electing Glenn Youngkin as Governor, after a campaign focused on giving parents -not public education swamp leaders- control of their child's education. Then, Louisiana was one of the last states to require masks for K-12 students, sparking further parent outrage.
After a year of parents nationwide and in Louisiana fighting against the public education swamp, do their leaders in Louisiana feel more heat? Is that behind their opposition to giving military and foster families school choice?