When I first started writing this blog in 2012, Louisiana’s then Governor Bobby Jindal was crowing about his new voucher plan. He and his state commissioner John White insisted that vouchers were a wonderful innovation. They would save poor children from failing public schools. They would give poor children the same choices that rich children have. All the DeVos baloney was served up.

We now know that none of this was true. Most of the voucher money went to backwoods evangelical church schools that did not have certified teachers or a real curriculum. Some of the voucher schools relied on the state money to keep their doors open. The “opportunity” was not for the students, but for the schools, which were glad to have the money from the state.

Now an organization called The Center for Investigative Reporting reveals what we anticipated: most students who use vouchers attend schools that are rated D or F by the State Education Department that funds them. The state is subsidizing no-quality education.

Read the article here.

The vouchers are an expensive hoax. They are not saving poor children from failing schools. Most of them ARE failing schools.

This story was produced by FOX8 WVUE, NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune and WWNO New Orleans Public Radio as part of Reveal’s Local Labs initiative, which supports lasting investigative reporting collaborations in communities across the United States.

Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal beamed with pride in April 2012, as he signed into law one of the most sweeping school choice expansions in the nation.

The law was lauded by the American Federation for Children, then chaired by future Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, and other school choice advocates. Like Jindal, they said it would free countless lower-income children from the worst public schools by allowing them to use state tax dollars in the form of vouchers to pay tuition at private schools, where they would ostensibly receive a better education.

“Our children do not have time to wait,” Jindal had said as he spent some of his waning political capital on what he felt would become a major part of his political legacy in Louisiana. “They only grow up once, and they have one shot to receive a quality education.”

Seven years later, however, the $40 million-a-year Louisiana Scholarship Program has failed to live up to its billing. The nearly 6,900 students who’ve left public schools have instead been placed into a system with numerous failing private schools that receive little oversight, a monthslong examination by a coalition of local and national media organizations has found.

Two-thirds of all students in the voucher system attended schools where they performed at a D or F level last school year, according to a data analysis by NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune, WVUE Fox 8 News, WWNO and Reveal from The Center for Investigative Reporting.