Despite some progress in recent years, it’s no secret that Louisiana’s public educational system still lags behind the rest of the nation in overall performance. For example, Louisiana’s most recent test scores revealed eighth grade reading numbers fell behind 41 other states, while the state’s performance in eighth grade math ranked below 48 states.
The core problems are simple and straightforward: we are failing to provide adequate options for our students, particularly those in rural and suburban areas, to succeed and, in turn, we aren’t equipping our future workforce with the skills and training necessary to compete. Furthermore, government bureaucrats and union officials often prevent parents from selecting the best educational options for their children.
Revamping the state’s educational system isn’t just an economic imperative to prepare our students and secure future jobs and opportunity. It’s a moral one. This is why the Pelican Institute is implementing a comprehensive education reform campaign as part of “A Jobs and Opportunity Agenda for Louisiana.”
This campaign directly addresses the primary problems with the state’s educational system, especially those hampering students’ ability to seize future jobs and opportunity that are currently being afforded to more well-prepared students around the country.
If implemented fully, these reforms will begin the process of restoring the state’s educational system, ensuring every child has access to a high-quality education of their choosing and providing a level playing field for students of all backgrounds to succeed. Among the key components of the reform package are the following:
- Empower parents by expanding school choice programs
- Expand school choice scholarships to all Louisiana students
- Introduce new options, such as Educational Savings Accounts (ESAs)
- Promote Course Choice initiatives to allow students in rural and smaller school districts to same learning opportunities as the rest of the state’s students
- Empower quality, high performing teachers
- Reform merit pay and teacher tenure
- Transform the state’s public schools to give the same flexibility and accountability as charter schools
- Encourage new educational options, including high-quality career and technical educational programs
In addition to the education policy solutions offered in the effort, the Pelican Institute is launching a video advertising campaign, called “A School That Fits,” which will include one video detailing the vision of the future of Louisiana education and another video explaining the proposed reforms in detail. All of the components of the Pelican Institute’s education reform campaign will be housed at PelicanInstitute.org.
Together, we can provide Louisiana students with the ability to recognize and reach their full potential in the future workforce. As Louisianans, we know our state is full of potential, but in order to fulfill this potential, we must give our children the best education possible.