Louisiana Democrat Gives Passionate Speech Supporting School Choice Bill

A Louisiana Democrat recently voted in favor of a school choice bill, saying he could not continue supporting “failed schools” in the state.

Louisiana state Rep. Jason Hughes (D) recently delivered a passionate speech on the House floor, speaking in favor of proposed legislation that would establish a scholarship program for parents to have options concerning the public school system. The legislation passed the chamber by a vote of 72-32, with 65 Republicans and seven Democrats backing it.

“As I watch children in poverty, trapped in failing schools, who can hardly read, I’d be damned if I will continue to defend this status quo,” Hughes said in his speech, which has garnered over 500,000 views on X, formerly known as Twitter. “Too many of our children are dropping out, and then we wonder why we have to have a crime session.”

“I know the political ramifications for me for voting this bill,” the Louisiana Democrat added. “But I don’t need this $16,800 a year job bad enough to watch our children continue to live in poverty, and trapped in failing schools, and not try to do something.”
Hughes continued by saying that even if he does not win reelection, he believes his actions were done with good intentions.

The Daily Wire pointed out that Hughes previously voted with Republicans on the Louisiana Appropriations Committee to advance the school choice bill to the House floor. For years, Democrats have opposed legislation offering parents the right to choose their child’s place of education, given their deep ties to teachers unions.

“I can’t close my eyes to the 67% of 3rd graders in public schools who cannot read. I cannot close my eyes to the number of kids living in poverty in our state that are trapped in failing schools,” he said.

The bill, known as the Giving All True Opportunity to Rise Scholarship Program, was introduced and written by state Rep. Julie Emerson (R). It would establish a three-phase education scholarship program beginning with poverty-stricken students before expanding.

“This program will allow the money to truly follow the child and empower the parents to be able to choose the education that is best for their child,” Emerson said.

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