(Guest Post by Matthew Ladner)
A bipartisan group of legislators in Louisiana have passed a pilot voucher program for children with special needs in Louisiana.
I think this makes Louisiana the sixth state to pass a private choice program for special needs children (Florida, Ohio, Utah, Arizona, Oklahoma having already done so).
More details later, but for now:
I’ll start a betting pool on the next state to pass special needs vouchers soon.
“the sixth state to pass a private choice program for special needs children” – over what time frame? And why now? Why not ten years ago assuming the first of the programs wasn’t passed ten years ago?
The first program passed in 1999, two passed this year in Oklahoma and Louisiana.
Hmmm. Not quite sure this warrants a “boooom” although it may, given the context. In the public education sphere blindingly swift change occurs along a decadal rhythm.
No thoughts on the “why” or “why now”?
Do you mean “why now in Louisiana?” If so I think the answer is that there is a strong reformer in the Governor’s office and a bipartisan coalition in favor of expanding parental options in the legislature.
I suspect that they are just getting warmed up.
No. I meant “why now?” in general.
Why this burst of success for vouchers after so many years of failure? Coincidence in the form of a couple of governors/state legislatures that are friendly enough to the idea to overcome the usual resistance or an underlying change in the politics of vouchers?
The case for special needs vouchers is very compelling.
Actually, there is no “burst of success” right now, comparatively speaking. This is a down cycle in terms of new programs being enacted – the inevitable byproduct of Dem success in the 2008 elections. We got a lot more new programs enacted per year in 2005-08 than in 2009 or 2010.
Prediction: look for the downcycle to end after this year’s midterms!
If this is a down year, then I can’t wait to see what a good year looks like. Major program expansion in Florida, small program expansion in Arizona, new program in Oklahoma, new program in Louisiana, near miss in Illinois (!) and the year isn’t over yet.
Yes, the school choice movement looks good even in a down year. But compare that to 2005 or 2006.
Or better yet, 2011.
I suspect you are right 🙂
The nice thing about even a modest BOOM is how it echos — both immediately and years afterward — perpetually triggering ever more seismic activity. Matt knows what I have in mind.
[…] for that news. Following closely on the heels of Oklahoma’s new program, Louisiana becomes the sixth state to provide badly-needed choice to students with special […]
I am so glad to hear of these programs to benefit special education students. Instead of asking “Why now?” I would say, “Better late than never!”