Education

Every child should have access to a high-quality education, ensuring every Louisiana resident has a chance to succeed. Louisiana cannot have a bright economic future without a workforce equipped with the skills and training necessary to compete in a 21st century economy. Revamping Louisiana’s educational system stands as an economic imperative—and a moral one too.

The School Accountability System Should be Simple and Transparent

The School Accountability System Should be Simple and Transparent

In just a few weeks, the state Board of Elementary and Secondary Education (BESE) will vote on whether to adopt a set of changes to Louisiana’s K-12 school accountability system that were proposed by State Superintendent Cade Brumley and the board’s Accountability Commission, which serves as a stakeholder-led advisory panel. The board deferred action on the proposed revisions during its last...

By Daniel J. Erspamer

Jefferson Parish School Board Members Lead the Charge on Transparency Veto Override

Jefferson Parish School Board Members Lead the Charge on Transparency Veto Override

As the legislature attempts to override the governor’s vetoes on various bills, one bill that we have paid close attention to is House Bill 38, the school district fiscal transparency bill. The bill would require enhanced fiscal transparency for all school districts in Louisiana and would require most districts to publish their expenses on the...

By John Kay

Debunking the Myths Surrounding Fiscal Transparency for School Districts

Debunking the Myths Surrounding Fiscal Transparency for School Districts

In recent days, there has been much misinformation put out about the school district transparency bill by Representative Rick Edmonds. Although groups have been spreading misinformation, it doesn’t change the fact that transparency of taxpayer dollars is a necessary function of any good government. We have chosen two prominent myths to address in this article....

By John Kay

Fiscal Transparency is Never Unnecessary

Fiscal Transparency is Never Unnecessary

Last week, Governor Edwards announced a shocking veto of a bill that would have created fiscal transparency in our schools. The bill would have required Louisiana’s larger public-school systems to post information about their revenues and expenditures to the Louisiana Fiscal Transparency Website known as “Louisiana Checkbook,” and required smaller school systems to post existing...

By John Kay

What Do School Letter Grades Really Tell Us About School Quality?

What Do School Letter Grades Really Tell Us About School Quality?

Last month, the Louisiana Department of Education proposed a set of changes to the state’s K-12 education accountability system that would significantly increase school ratings not because student achievement improved, but by simply changing the weights and awarding more points within the calculations. Simulations provided by the department projected that more than 50% of D- and...

By Daniel J. Erspamer

Fiscal Transparency is Critical to Improving our Schools

Fiscal Transparency is Critical to Improving our Schools

The Pelican Institute is excited to report that the Louisiana Legislature has passed legislation that requires local public-school systems to make information about school spending more readily available to parents and communities. It now heads to Governor Edwards for signature. Louisiana spends over $13,000 per student, the highest in the Southeast, for some of the...

By Daniel J. Erspamer

School Accountability is too Important to Not Get Right

School Accountability is too Important to Not Get Right

Last week, The Advocate reported on plans by state education officials to make significant shifts to the statewide school and district accountability system. Some of the proposed changes are a step in the right direction; others will make our school scoring significantly more lenient. The state Board of Elementary and Secondary Education (BESE) is expected...

By Daniel J. Erspamer

Education Savings Accounts: A New Opportunity for Louisiana Kids

Education Savings Accounts: A New Opportunity for Louisiana Kids

While tax reform has rightly dominated the news coverage of Louisiana’s current legislative session, other bills filed by lawmakers are offering some very exciting opportunities for the state to introduce a new education reform that has proven beneficial for numerous families in other states. Education savings accounts, or ESAs for short, provide families of eligible...

By Daniel J. Erspamer

Poll Shows Overwhelming Majority of Louisianans Want Fiscal Transparency in Schools

Poll Shows Overwhelming Majority of Louisianans Want Fiscal Transparency in Schools

Why is Louisiana consistently ranked at the bottom when it comes to education even though we outspend our neighbors on our cost per student? A new poll shows that 94% of Louisianans agree that we need financial transparency in our school districts. Since our costs are so high and our outcomes are so bad, taxpayers...

By Ryan Roberts

(BIG) Solutions (mini) Summit(s) Day Three: Education Recap

(BIG) Solutions (mini) Summit(s) Day Three: Education Recap

Every child should have the opportunity to go to a school that is best for them. During the Pelican Institute’s recent “(BIG) Solutions (mini) Summit(s),” our expert keynote speakers and panelists offered several proven solutions to help Louisiana create an education system that lets every child thrive in a school of their choice. If you...

By Daniel J. Erspamer

Celebrate School Choice Week with Pelican

Celebrate School Choice Week with Pelican

by Daniel Erspamer, CEO, Pelican Institute Today, we begin our celebration of National School Choice Week! It feels like a lifetime ago since everyone gathered in person and virtually for the 2020 festivities. This last year has presented so many unique challenges for students and parents across Louisiana and the nation. These struggles only reinforce the...

By Daniel J. Erspamer

Virtual Learning and Charter Schools During COVID-19

Virtual Learning and Charter Schools During COVID-19

Virtual learning and “micro-schools” are things we’ve all learned about this year, but what do they actually mean for Louisiana kids and parents? Join us Friday at 2 p.m. for a live PeliCast with Dr. Lonnie Luce, Louisiana State Director of Charter Schools USA and Executive Director of Blended and Online School Solutions, as we...

By Editor

Pelican’s New Plan to Transform Education in Louisiana

Pelican’s New Plan to Transform Education in Louisiana

COVID-19 has taught us many lessons, but something that’s become abundantly clear in recent months is a fact that many Louisiana families and advocates have already known for a long time: our state’s education status quo is broken, and an urgent fix is required. To solve this problem, the Pelican Institute developed a comprehensive policy roadmap...

By Daniel J. Erspamer