First, Louisiana’s top-rated school district opted to participate in the state’s new school voucher program. Then, less than two weeks later, it opted out.
Why the quick reversal? Once Zachary schools Superintendent Warren Drake announced the district’s intent to “make a difference” for children coming from C-, D-, or F-rated schools, his community told him to back off.
In a written statement, Drake scrapped his original plan with a declaration that illustrates the challenges school choice advocates face even after their hard-won legislative victories:
We recognize the sacrifices many of our own families make to provide their students with a first-rate education and appreciate the community’s continued financial support of our district.
As with many private school choice plans, Louisiana’s voucher allows students from poor-performing public schools to switch to high-performing public schools. And the best-performing public schools in the Pelican State are found in Zachary.
But, as with many plans that allow cross-district school choice, sometimes those who make “sacrifices” for the best want to keep their investment exclusive.
Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder learned that lesson after he proposed making the voluntary cross-district choice policy in his state mandatory. Most of the districts in Michigan that...