Senate wants to slow the momentum to expand school vouchers


Before legislation to expand the school voucher program becomes law, Senate President Cameron Henry said the higher chamber is concerned the program might not be feasible with the fiscal cliff looming for the state budget.

“And once you start these programs it’s very hard to pull them back. So, we want to make sure that we don’t give someone false hope and then have to take that back. We want to implement it in a very methodical way,” said Henry.

In a recent call with senate presidents from other states, Henry said he learned of both successes and pitfalls of education savings accounts (ESAs) and he wants to be sure Louisiana doesn’t overpromise what the state can realistically deliver.

“The bill is a little aggressive and putting everything together before we figure out whether we actually want to do it. And we want to work out the details before we agree on how much money. The number of students,” said Henry.

Henry said the Senate wants to tap the breaks on ESAs and thoroughly research expanding the option for all families regardless of their finances.

“But before we can get to that stage, we need a good foundation of what the program is going to look like. And I think that’s the goal for this step moving forward,” said Henry.

Carencro Representative Julie Emerson’s bill, the Gator Scholarship Program, passed in the House Monday and heads to Senate Education.


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