Apr 4, 2012 9:52 AM by AP
BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) - Louisiana's Senate is nearing a vote that could end the Legislature's historic resistance to state-funded tuition for students in private schools.
A House-passed measure on the Senate floor Wednesday afternoon would expand a pilot program in New Orleans into a statewide voucher system for students from low-to-moderate income families who want to leave poor public schools. Backers say it's a needed tool for poor families. Critics say it shifts badly needed state and local money away from public schools.
Vouchers are just part of the controversial education package that Gov. Bobby Jindal has been pushing. Embodied in two bills, the package also diminishes teacher job security, provides ways to more easily create public charter schools, curbs local school boards' power and gives more hiring authority to superintendents and principals.