BATON ROUGE -- A statewide voucher program allowing some low- and moderate-income families to send children to private schools with government money has been approved by a Senate committee.
The program already exists in New Orleans. The measure approved Thursday by the Senate Education Committee would expand it statewide. And, while the New Orleans plan applies only to students in failing schools, the expanded voucher plan would apply to students in schools earning a C or D under Louisiana's accountability program.
The bill backed by Gov. Bobby Jindal also is designed to make for easier formation of "charter" schools, which are public schools run by private organizations with permission from government authorities. The Senate panel approved it after supporting another Jindal-backed bill linking teacher tenure to student performance.