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 RedState.com, contributor to The Hayride, and a teacher in south Louisiana. You can find him on Twitter at @JoePCunningham and on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/jcunninghamwrites.