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Louisiana Becomes 12th State with Universal Education Freedom. Which State Will Be Next?

By: Andrew Handel


Yesterday, Governor Jeff Landry signed SB 313 into law, which creates the Louisiana Giving All True Opportunity to Rise (GATOR) program. The legislation was a signature priority of Governor Landry and takes a phased-in approach to eligibility, with the program eventually opening to all students. The LA GATOR program was led through the legislature by Senator Rick Edmonds and Representative Julie Emerson.

 

Upon signing the bill into law, Governor Landry said “Today, we fulfilled our promise to bring drastic reform to our education system and bring common sense back to our classrooms. A strong education system leads to a strong economy and a strong state…I am thankful to the legislature for their commitment to making the education system in Louisiana one that students, parents, and teachers can all be proud of.”

 

The Louisiana Department of Education is tasked with implementing many of the key details of the program, such as scholarship amounts, determining who is eligible, and determining what educational expenses will qualify. The legislature will ultimately be responsible for funding the program through the regular appropriations process each year.

 

Louisiana was a top target of the Education Freedom Alliance for 2024 and now becomes the 12th state with universal education freedom. In ALEC’s 2023 Index of State Education Freedom, Louisiana ranked 14th in the country – a number that is sure to improve when we release our 2024 rankings later this year.

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