Bill allows students to switch to high-performing schools

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BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) – Students at poor-performing public schools could have the possibility of switching to higher-performing schools, under a bill that received the unanimous support Wednesday of the Senate.

Sen. Ben Nevers, D-Bogalusa, said he proposed the measure (Senate Bill 61) to offer choice to public school students, like the state has offered through the taxpayer-funded voucher program.

“It gives our public school students the same rights as our scholarship students in private schools,” he said.

The proposal would start with the upcoming 2014-15 school year.

Parents would be able to enroll their children in the public school they choose if the student was assigned to a school that was graded with a D or F in the state's school grading system. The school that a parent chooses must be rated at an A, B or C level – and it must have the space to take the student.

The bill contains an exception for schools under court orders. It also would require parents to get their children to the newly-selected school if it's located outside the geographic boundaries of the school system or would cost the system more than it would otherwise pay for transportation.

 

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