A recent educational survey in Louisiana is showing that parents are overwhelmingly satisfied by the ability to exercise discretion when it comes time to select which schools their children will attend.

According to the Parental Satisfaction Survey—one of the most comprehensive inquiries of its kind—over 91 percent of parents taking part in the Louisiana Scholarship Program, which allows students caught in poorly performing schools to switch to a participating private school of their choice, were either satisfied or very satisfied by the decision.

Other highlights of the survey, announced by the Louisiana Federation for Children (LFC), and the Black Alliance for Educational Options (BAEO), included equally impressive findings:

  • 91.6 percent of parents are happy with their child’s academic performance at his/her scholarship school.
  • 99.1 percent of parents say their child feels safe in his/her scholarship school.
  • 98.4 percent of parents say they and their children feel welcome at their child’s current scholarship school.

“The results released today provide clear evidence that the Louisiana Scholarship Program is working, giving Louisiana families access to a high-quality education in a safe and secure learning environment,” said Ann Duplessis, President of the Louisiana Federation for Children. “Parents, who know what is best for their children, have indicated they are overwhelmingly satisfied with their child’s school.”

Programs like this are of particular importance to lower-income families, who might not otherwise have the means to send their kids to a private school that can offer better outcomes, and indeed, every child participating in this program comes from such circumstances.

The creation and popularity of Louisiana’s scholarship program is indicative of the general inertia seen nationwide since 1995 towards school choice, when only one state (Wisconsin) allowed for it:

As time has passed, many other states have adopted various similar programs of their own—including educational savings accounts (ESA’s) and vouchers:

Today, there are 46 school choice programs in 24 states plus Washington, D.C. This multi-faceted approach gives states without these programs—like Texas—an excellent opportunity to investigate which avenue might work best for them, with the ultimate goal of giving parents the latitude to make sound decisions for their families.