BATON ROUGE -- Over the objections of some public school advocates, the Louisiana Senate voted 22-16 Monday to allow corporations to sponsor charter schools in exchange for controlling up to half of the enrollment slots and half of the governing board seats.House Bill 421 by Rep. Steve Carter, R-Baton Rouge, must return to the House, where the lower chamber is expected to approve only minor changes and send the bill on to Gov. Bobby Jindal, who announced his support for the measure in January. The House approved the bill 72-23 earlier in the session.
The bill continues a recent trend of the Legislature embracing policies that redirect tax dollars away from traditional public schools to charter programs, private school tuition scholarships and tax breaks for families that pay private school tuition. A separate bill this session, which now awaits Jindal's signature, would allow a household to deduct from their taxable income up to $5,000 in private school tuition and expenses per child. -- Times-Picayune