In another exciting advancement for school choice, Louisiana can be added to the list of states that have instituted large scale school choice programs in the last several years.

It’s called the Student Scholarships for Educational Excellence Program, and it’s geared toward low and middle income families whose children are not performing well in their traditional public school setting. Louisiana’s previous scholarship program only pertained to the New Orleans area, and even then only applied to special needs students in certain parishes.

While the Louisiana program deserves to lauded, school choice should be available to everyone, not just a select group of students. Hopefully, Louisiana will further expand this landmark legislation in the future.

What also should be noted is that yet another state has beaten Texas to the punch on school choice. We have no active voucher programs, no tax credit programs, and limited charter laws. How many more states need to get there ahead of Texas before we realize that school choice is something we need, too?

This would not be new, alien territory for Texas. San Antonio’s Horizon scholarship program, which operated within the bounds of the Edgewood independent School District, produced both academic and socioeconomic benefits. Since it ended in 2008, the state has been well behind the curve set by states like Louisiana and Indiana. When the 83rd Texas Legislature kicks off in 2013, our lawmakers will have another opportunity to make Texas a leader in the growing choice movement.

-James Golsan