June 30, 2012
Over the past two weeks, the Louisiana Black Alliance for Educational Options has traveled the entire state sharing information on the newly expanded Student Scholarships for Educational Excellence program. With expos held in Alexandria, Baton Rouge, Lafayette, Lake Charles, New Orleans, Shreveport, Ruston and Monroe, we have had the opportunity to meet a wide range of parents facing a vast array of challenges regarding their children’s education. We assisted parents in completing scholarship applications and answered many questions and concerns they had.
We also educated parents on opportunities for parental choice in their local community, including those available via the No Child Left Behind Act.
What is extremely clear is that there is a high demand from parents, particularly those of modest means, to provide their children with a high-quality education. Despite the political battles that colored the recent legislative session and the ongoing battle that continues to be peppered with talks of lawsuits, parents in Louisiana want more for their children. Whether through the scholarship program, charter schools or through improved public schools, parents are tired of their children being trapped in learning environments that fail them.
Act 2 of the 2012 Louisiana Regular Legislative Session has given a number of parents hope. Parents came out, often in torrid weather conditions over the last two weeks to learn about parental choice. In Baton Rouge, for example, even when the lights went out, parents stayed to learn ways that they can make life better for their children. Parents are continuing to show that they want more for their children, and as a state, we must do everything within our power to meet this need.
We applaud parents who have taken this new opportunity to exercise parental choice by applying for the new scholarships or asking their local school boards about their rights under No Child Left Behind.
Eric Lewis, state director
Louisiana Black Alliance for Educational Opportunity