Advocates declare the end of January National School Choice Week

BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - President Donald Trump's nomination of Betsy Devos for Secretary of Education has re-ignited the debate about school choice.

Devos has advocated for school vouchers in the past which is government funding that goes towards a child's education outside of the public school system, but the debate really picked up steam today.

Advocates for vouchers have declared it National School Choice Week, resulting in the Louisiana Federation for Children leading numerous events across the state.

"This is absolutely a program and an opportunity that families across the state should be able to take advantage of," says Ann Duplessis, President of the Louisiana Federation for Children.

School choice means children can select to go to a school outside of their district, a charter school, a magnet school, or be homeschooled.

The Federation for Children supports both choice and vouchers.

The federation says if parents are not satisfied with their public school, they should have options.

"Our public school system, in many instances, has failed our children. A lot of our children," Duplessis said. "We believe that children ought to be able to be in an environment, a learning environment that works for them, and not a one size fits all."

School choice is heavily opposed by teachers unions. The National Education Association is a large group of around three million school workers.

Their web site lists many reasons why they oppose school choice and a voucher system, including a lack of consistent standards and the risk that public school funding will be lost to vouchers.

They say the state should focus on improving the existing schools rather than creating alternatives.

The first school choice event will be held on January 23, at 6 p.m. at the Jones Creek Library in Baton Rouge.

Representatives with the Federation for Children hope that more parents will look into school choice,

They plan on pushing initiatives during this year's legislative session.

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