Zachary School Board decides against participating education voucher program

Zachary School Board decides against participating education voucher program

POSTED: Wednesday, May 9, 2012 - 5:30pm

UPDATED: Wednesday, May 9, 2012 - 5:34pm

In Zachary, the school board has reversed a decision on taking students as part of Governor Jindal's education reform plan.

Last month, the Zachary School Board voted to take 30 students from failing school districts and bring them into the Zachary district as part of Governor Jindal's voucher program.

But now, the school board says they've talked with the community, and aren't accepting any students from any failing districts.

In a press release from the district, officials say since deciding to accept the students in April, they've had lots of calls of concern from parents.

Many of them are concerned about the financial impact of the move. They are also concerned about the quality of education students who live in Zachary would get.

In a statement, the school board said, “We will explore ways to help students in academically unacceptable schools where possible, but at this time are responding to requests from the community not to participate in this program.”

Parents NBC33 spoke with in Zachary are mixed on this latest decision.

 “We have extreme pride here. I don't want others to come to Zachary. We pay in taxes,” stated Zachary native Angela Hetard.

 “I think every child should have an opportunity to go to a better school,” said Dotti Smith. “If it was my child, I would want them to go to a better school.”

Initially, the school board voted to accept 15 kindergarteners and another 15 students in first grade.

Superintendent of Education John White has released a statement on Zachary's reversal on the decision:

“The scholarship program is not only the right thing to do for A and B schools, but also a prudent financial decision. I urge Zachary and districts statewide to do the right thing for children and join the program.”

Also, we tried to contract Zachary's superintendent, Warren Drake, several times for a comment.

He was unavailable.

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