‘Kids…Trapped in Failing Schools’

(Patriot.Buzz) – With almost certain political repercussions for breaking ranks with his party, Democratic Representative Jason Hughes from Louisiana cast his vote in favor of school choice during a Committee on Appropriations session.

Hughes’ stance marks a significant departure from the Democratic Party’s usual position against this issue.

The committee recently met to discuss HB745, a bill that introduces education savings accounts (ESA) in the state.

This system, which is already in place in several other states, allows parents to use public funds for educational costs that include private school fees, learning materials and homeschooling expenses.

During the discussion, Hughes questioned Danny Garrett, a representative of the Louisiana School Board Association, who opposed the bill even after acknowledging the advantages he personally witnessed in public schools and other people’s accounts.

Garrett acknowledged that parents might have legitimate reasons for their school preference but warned against “clos[ing] their eyes” to the potential consequences on public funding for education.

However, Hughes highlighted the pressing issue of educational underperformance, saying:

“I’m certainly not closing my eyes to that. But respectfully, I can’t close my eyes to the 67% of 3rd graders in public schools who cannot read. I cannot close my eyes to the number of kids living in poverty in our state who are trapped in failing schools. Okay?”

He emphasized the problems facing children in low-income families who are “trapped in a failing school” due to financial constraints. He also questioned the lack of viable alternatives for these students.

The committee ultimately approved HB745 by a vote of 13-9, with Hughes standing out as the sole Democrat in support of the ESA initiative.

If the Louisiana House of Representatives endorses the bill, the state will align with others like Alabama, which recently embraced the ESA model in 2024 to expand educational choices for families.

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