Louisiana recognized as an incubator for reform

Lakefront Arena at the University of New Orleans will be at the focal point of national attention this coming Saturday as it plays host to an event that marks the beginning of National School Choice Week.

As Gov. Bobby Jindal prepares to advance an ambitious education reform agenda in anticipation of the legislative session that begins in March, state officials will be in a position to highlight key innovations that have already been set in motion.

The Jindal Administration has continued to expand the revolutionary charter school program that began in New Orleans in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. It also secured approval for a limited voucher program in the city. Over 1,600 voucher recipients were enrolled in private schools as of last Spring.

Gov Jindal now favors making these scholarships available statewide. He also called for revising teacher tenure rules and giving school superintendents and principals greater authority over hiring and firing decisions.

The New Orleans celebration will include live musical entertainment from The Temptations and Ellis Marsalis starting at 10:30 a.m. at the Lakefront Arena located on Franklin Avenue. For more information visit http://www.SchoolChoiceWeek.com.

Elected officials, celebrities,  students, parents, and teachers are expected to take part in the event and to discuss their experiences.

Kevin Mooney is the Capitol Bureau Reporter with the Pelican Institute for Public Policy. He can be reached at kmooney@pelicanpolicy.org and followed on Twitter.