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Voucher program participants hopeful lawmakers will find the funds for the voucher program

Photo taken by FOX44 staff
Wednesday, May 8, 2013 - 5:13pm

"When I heard it my heart dropped," shared Shari Burks has seven grandkids at Hosana Christian Academy. When she heard the news the voucher program's funding was ruled unconstitutional Tuesday she was worried.

"Now that we have the opportunity to where we can see our kids, our grandkids, cousins, niece, go to a private school and get a better education, you know. So I hope we don't lose the vouchers. I really hope we don't," Burks said.

Hosana administrator Josh LeSage said he's confident the state won't turn out the thousands of voucher students.

"We have full confidence that our governor's going to find a way to pay for this. I mean how crazy would it be to pull the rug out from tens of thousands of students," LeSage queried.

But even if that does happen, he said, no matter what, they'll find a way for their students to stay at their school.

"At that point I think we would try and find funds through private resources to at least allow the children who are here to continue their education. They deserve that," LeSage shared.

Teachers unions are demanding back the scholarship money given to private schools under the program.

“We have been fighting and starving for money that has been taken from us with every strategy possible to ruin our public schools and that must stop. These children are our future and if we don't invest in them and take care of their needs now it's not going to be good,“ said Joyce Haynes with the Louisiana Association of Educators.

LeSage explained that at this point that would be impossible.

"The money's been spent on these kids and it's just not there. I think it's absolutely absurd that the teacher's unions or local districts want this money back," LeSage continued.

Like any other grandmother, Burks just wants her kids to keep up the good work at Hosana.

"From where they were to where they are now? Honor roll! Don't hurt our kids, let them have this chance," exclaimed Burks.

Several private schools are still awaiting acceptance from parents who have been awarded voucher slots. LeSage encourages them to continue with enrolling their children in those private schools.
 

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