Saturday’s Choice


Joe Cunningham, III

So, on Saturday, I’ll be in Natchitoches, chaperoning a school group that will be touring the area as part of a statewide STEM tour. As I type this, I’m sitting in a hotel room in New Orleans, listening to some of the kids from the group talking very loudly. In all likelihood, I’ll take breaks in writing this column in order to go tell them to calm down.

It will be weird coming to Natchitoches as a tourist and not as a returning as someone visiting my hometown and my family. I will be visiting the places I went to on field trips as a kid: the Fish Hatchery, Melrose Plantation, and Ft. St. Jean Baptiste. I’ll be, God help us all, in charge of kids. How messed up is that?!

The school I teach at in south Louisiana is a STEM magnet school. It is part of Lafayette’s Schools of Choice program, where schools have specialized pathways that students can attend, even if the school is not their base school. It is based on a lottery system, and our school in particular is growing like crazy because it’s not just a school with career pathways, but it’s a magnet school.

It is the very embodiment of one of the many ways we in Louisiana can promote school choice.

I’m not going to sit here and tell you that you need to vote for David Vitter, that David Vitter is the best choice for Louisiana, that David Vitter is the only way to save Louisiana. I’m not going to sit here and tell you to overlook his past indiscretions. That is going to be a monumental task for a lot of you.

But, I am going to ask you to take a look at our children. The ones in school. The ones who could use something better. There are not enough secondary schools in Natchitoches to create the same system we have here in Lafayette, but there are things that can be done to allow for school choice. If a school is failing your child (and yes, even as a teacher, I believe that it is very much possible for a school to do harm to your child’s education), you as a parent deserve a right to place them somewhere else where they can learn.

John Bel Edwards hates school choice.

He uses the fact that his wife is a public school teacher to tout how much he respects education. It’s an obvious play against Bobby Jindal, who is still greatly disliked for his education policies. But, Edwards has taken a ton of money from teachers’ unions, who are (as organizations) very much against the idea of school choice. They want the power to remain in the hands of teachers, and not in the hands of parents.

He has written anti-school choice legislation. He is going to implement education policies that will hurt your child’s chance to get a good education.

I’m not going to tell you to vote for David Vitter on Saturday. But, I beg of you, do not vote for John Bell Edwards.

Joe Cunningham is a conservative commentator, Front Page Editor at, contributor to The Hayride, and a teacher in south Louisiana. You can find him on Twitter at @JoePCunningham and on Facebook at

2 thoughts on “Saturday’s Choice

  1. So supporters of Vitter are now reduced to “guilt by association”? Because teachers unions and others who care about education support Edwards he must be against charters? Why, because he wrote a bill to let local school boards control whether to grant a particular charter, rather than have Baton Rouge ram a charter down their throat? Crap. “Conservatives” used to prefer government closest to the people, but people calling themselves convervative today do not know the meaning of the word. Maybe teachers support Edwards because understands what is wrong with education in this state, and won’t continue the Jindal assault on education spending. Learn the facts, fella.

  2. Nice try. “I’m not going to tell you to overlook his past indiscretions.” Yet, that’s exactly what you do artfully tried to do.
    The fact is, Vitter’s “past indiscretions” go way beyond just committing crimes with prostitutes or illegal spying. If all criminals could go free citing “forgiveness” without any consequences, we’d have no need for our judicial system.
    Voting time and time again against veterans benefits is a “past indiscretion” that cannot be forgiven, especially for a man who wants to command our state’s National Guard troops.
    Voting against disability rights is a “past indiscretion” that is quite frankly a slap in the face to disabled people everywhere, and especially cruel and egregious to disabled veterans who’ve given so much in service to this country. David Vitter does not care.
    Voting against funding for public schools, as well as teacher pay, along with police and firefighters, and millions in direly needed infrastructure funds is another “indiscretion” of Vitter’s that cannot be ignored.
    Physical attacks on women are “past indiscretions” that will CERTAINLY not be tolerated, let alone forgotten.
    The fact is, as bad as Jindal has been for education, David Vitter would be exponentially worse.
    When you use the words “school choice” that’s quite a deceptive way of describing taxpayer funded private schools. That’s already been ruled unconstitutional as Bobby Jindal found out the hard way.
    You villainized our state’s teacher’s in an attempt to sway opinions to yours and Bobby Jindal’s twisted ideology. This is not about “power” as you put it, but about accountability.
    That is shameful to say the least.
    John Bel Edwards is a Catholic, a United States veteran, and a good man.
    Yes. His wife, Donna, is a teacher, and you can bet your bottom dollar that their concern for the future of Louisiana schools is more genuine than anything you’ve written here to try and disparage his record.
    It’s why Sherriffs, State Troopers, Veterans, Piney Woods Journal, statewide conservatives, firemen, and yes, teachers have ALL put their faith in John Bel Edwards to turn around the disastrous mess that Jindal is leaving behind after being endorsed THREE times by David Vitter.
    We face many challenges in Louisiana, which is why this election is so important. Much too important to allow David Vitter bring 16 years of Washington, D.C. dysfunction and baggage to the state we love.
    A vote for David Bruce Vitter is exactly what Louisiana does NOT need.

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