Should parents be able to choose the school that their child attends? That is a question that was taken under consideration by the House Education Committee yesterday. The proposed legislation would allow students to attend any public school within their district.

The reasoning behind the bill was simple. Parents and students should have the right to choose the school that best suits their particular needs, providing that school has room for that student.

Chris Broadwater spoke in support of the bill when asked by the Louisiana Radio Network.

Not just better than the school where the kid is zoned, but if you aren’t performing better than any school in that district, you may lose kids that would go back to the public system.

The current law provides for students that are attending underperforming schools the right to transfer to a better school. If a school is graded at an F or a D performance rating, then parents have the right to request a transfer to a school that is performing at a C level or higher.

The opposition to the bill appears to be more of a logistical one than an entirely philosophical one. Donald Songy is Associate Executive Director of the Louisiana Association of School Superintendents. He suggested in his comments that principals would not be able to give an accurate count of students until the school year actually began. Also, the question of how many times a student could transfer is an issue.

That would create some chaos, something that was hard to manage.

He went on to speak on the issues that supply and demand would create in communities where there were more students than spaces available.

You’re either going to have a long line and some angry people or you’re going to have a lottery. Any way you do that, it’s going to create some other situation.

The measure will now move to the House floor for further discussion and debate.