Universal School Choice Comes to Louisiana

By Kathryn Hickok

On May 30, Louisiana’s legislature passed SB 313, establishing the LA GATOR Scholarship Program. Governor Jeff Landry signed the bill into law Wednesday. The nation’s eighth universal Education Savings Account program will be phased in beginning in 2025, with priority given to low-income students, current LA Scholarship Program students, and students enrolled in public schools. Twelve states now have laws that will offer educational choice to all, or nearly all, K-12 students who choose to participate in these programs.

There are many approaches by which states can empower more students to find the right fit for them to achieve their personal best. Oregon can increase educational opportunities for students here by lifting the enrollment cap on charter schools, expanding public school district transfer options, and “letting the money follow the child” to the schools of their choice through an ESA program.

Different school environments help children learn in the ways that are most beneficial for them. State education policies should value all options that empower students to achieve academic proficiency. Oregon students would be served well by increasing the opportunities available to meet their learning needs, goals, and personal circumstances.

Kathryn Hickok is Executive Vice President at Cascade Policy Institute, Oregon’s free market public policy research organization, and Director of Cascade’s Children’s Scholarship Fund-Oregon program.

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