Jindal pitches education reform plan again

POSTED: Monday, January 30, 2012 - 9:18pm

UPDATED: Monday, January 30, 2012 - 9:23pm

"We must empower our parents, our teachers, must empower local school leaders," says Governor Bobby Jindal.

For Governor Bobby JIndal, fixing the educational system in the Bayou State starts with teachers.

"Changing the way that we hire, identify, recruit teachers, changing the way we pay teachers," says Jindal.

Steven Monaghan is the President of the Louisiana Federation of Teachers. He says the problem isn't with the teachers, academic issues start at home.

"I don't believe that the primary problem in the achievement gap begins with the teacher. The primary problem begins with community, begins with home, poverty and all those factors," says Monaghan.

Those factors have helped lead to almost half of Louisiana public schools receiving a grade of "D" or "F" on the latest state assessments. So, the Governor proposes that underpriviledged students at failing school should receive a voucher to attend the school of their choice. These are opportunities he says parents just don't have right now," says Jindal.

"With these failing public schools, parents don't have choice," says Jindal.

Monaghan says this money is still not enough to send children to really good private schools. Even if it was enough, schools don't necessarily have to accept the student.

"A truly premiere school is going to cost 12, 15, 10 thousand dollars a year. It has to be clear to the poor parent who's looking at a $4000 thousand voucher that's not going to be enough," says Monaghan.

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