BATON ROUGE, La (WGMB) — With 44 percent of Louisiana schools receiving a "D" or an "F" on the latest state school assessments, Governor Bobby Jindal stated to legislators on both sides that change is needed now. The Governor would give poor students in these failing schools an opportunity to transfer to a charter school of their choice.
"Every parent and every grandparent here wants for our children and grandchildren . We want them to do even better than we have done, so it starts with education reform, says Governor Jindal.
Democrats oppose this legislation. They say there are only 2000 spots available for the more than 380,000 eligible students. It's a plan they say will widen the gap between the haves and the have nots. Representative Pat Smith.
"Governor Jindal's voucher plan is unrealistic, unconstitutionally funded and would only serve a very small percentage of students under the sham of reform....The plan he offers is a lie to the 99 percent because only the exclusive one percent will be served," says Smith.
Under Jindal's reform plan, teachers would only receive tenure after being rated "highly effective" for five years. Right now they get tenure after just three. Jindal says he's doing what's best for students. Democrats say it's all about politics.
"We should be doing everything to make sure that every child in Louisiana has a great teacher," says Jindal.
"Governor JIndal I am here to tell you we will not let you rob our children of the future they deseerve so you can score some politicial points with the national republican extremists," says Smith.
Despite the sides being far apart, they both say they are willing to work across the aisle to do what is best for Louisiana's students.