Louisiana legislators have thwarted an effort to launch a school voucher program in New Orleans that would subsidize religious and other private schools.
In June, the state House Education Committee blocked the voucher bill, H.B. 623, from reaching the full House for consideration. The measure, according to the Baton Rouge Advocate, would provide tuition vouchers to low-income families in New Orleans, which is still struggling from the devastation wrought by Hurricane Katrina.
The newspaper noted that many of the lawmakers who opposed the voucher scheme did so out of concern over using tax dollars that would ultimately support the predominantly Catholic schools in New Orleans.
One lawmaker said that the voucher scheme, if approved, would likely lead to vouchers throughout the state.
“If you open it up for New Orleans, then Baton Rouge is next,” said Rep. Avon Honey (D-Baton Rouge). “I’m totally against this, and I’ll always be against it.”