School Vouchers Stall In Louisiana Legislature

Halfway through Louisiana's 2003 legislative session, lawmakers signaled that a statewide voucher law is unlikely to pass, reported the Associated Press in May.

State Rep. Carl Crane, a Baton Rouge Republican, told the AP that passage of a statewide voucher law was dead for now. Crane, noting "this is an election year," implied that teachers unions and other public school organizations were the main reason for the demise of a proposed voucher law.

Religious leaders, such as Catholic Archbishop Alfred Hughes, have not given up on vouchers. At a mid-April gathering on how to improve secondary education, Hughes urged the audience at the Archbishop Hannan High School to contact state lawmakers and urge them to pass a statewide voucher plan.

"Here in 2003, the Catholic Church draws on that heritage to offer a partnership with public schools to educate the most deprived in our city and state," said Hughes.

Rep. Crane did tell the AP that "within the next three years vouchers will be part of the educational landscape in Louisiana."