There is a staggeringly large amount of money at stake in Governor Jindal’s voucher plan (HB-976). How much?
$1.9 Billion every fiscal year.
Here’s how you get that number.
First, everyone agrees that about 53% of Louisiana public school students will be eligible for vouchers because they attend public schools that are graded at the C, D, or F performance levels. That is about 380,000 students.
Since the plan is for the ‘money to follow the student’ (Louisiana Constitution be damned!), that means the Minimum Foundation Program (MFP) funding would be tapped to provide that money. The state’s portion of the MFP averages out to just over $5,000 per student, but varies from parish to parish. But, $5,000 is a safe, conservative estimate.
So, take your $5,000 per student and multiply that by the number of students (380,000) and you get the number shown in the check above — One billion, nine-hundred million dollars.
Oh, the Governor and his friends say, don’t worry! There’s not room for that many students to be admitted by private schools.
Right, but $1,900,000,000 is a mighty nice pool of money to help incentivize the creation of a heck of a lot more private schools. And, that money will be available every fiscal year.
Over five years, Jindal’s voucher plan will make $9.5 Billion available to schools that don’t exist right now. Over the next ten years, that will become $19 Billion. Every penny of that is Louisiana taxpayer dollars (again, in violation of Article VII, Section 13 of the Louisiana Constitution). All of it will be going into the coffers of school operators who will not have the performance of their schools assessed or graded and who will not have to hire certified teachers to staff those classrooms.
Get ready to see an explosion of new private school openings in Louisiana in coming years if the Jindal voucher plan goes into law. It’s guaranteed to be good for the school operators and their investors — even contractors.
They’re so happy they can hardly count.