The Louisiana Senate and House have passed a sweeping school choice bill that will reach all families statewide by 2025. The bill will become law with the signature of Gov. Jeff Landry (R-LA), a longtime school choice advocate.

Louisiana will soon become the 12th state in the nation to enact universal or near-universal school choice into law. It will join the ranks of Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Florida, Indiana, Iowa, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Utah, and West Virginia.

There is no chance Landry will waver. On May 30, immediately upon the bill passing the second chamber, Landry declared, “School choice is now a reality in the state of Louisiana!”

Senate Bill 313 introduces an education savings account, which is the most flexible of school choice programs, allowing parents to select the educational avenue that will best serve their child.

The program is rightly named “Giving All True Opportunity to Rise.” If students aren’t given the opportunity to receive a quality education, they don’t have a fair shot at success in life.

Landry recounts his promise to the people of the Pelican State: “I made a pledge to enact bold change that improves our education system … with the legislature’s help, we did just that.”

He continued, explaining, “The LA GATOR Program puts parents in the driver’s seat and gives every child the opportunity for a great education. When parents are committed to the value of their child’s education, government should never get in the way.”

Louisiana has ranked near last in the nation year after year in K-12 public school student achievement. According to the Nation’s Report Card, among fourth grade public school students, 73% are not proficient in math and 72% are not proficient in reading. Those numbers increase for eighth grade students, with 81% not proficient in math and 73% not proficient in reading. Without question, Louisiana public schools aren’t working for the overwhelming majority of children.

By empowering parents with their children’s education funds, the state will free families from being bound to their residentially assigned district public schools. Instead, the funds will allow them to find alternative learning avenues, should they desire.

Bringing choice for all to the K-12 education sector will provide the much-needed market condition of competition, breaking down the public school monopoly and loosening the stranglehold of the teachers unions on other people’s children.

School choice works because the competition incentivizes public schools to provide higher quality learning and better service to families in order to maintain students. For example, as noted by Corey DeAngelis, “ten out of the eleven rigorous studies on the subject have found that private-school-choice competition has improved academic and behavioral outcomes in Florida public schools.” DeAngelis is right in his assessment that “School choice is a rising tide that lifts all boats.”

The tide is lifting for the betterment of the children of Louisiana, and the state will reap far-reaching workforce, economic, and societal benefits as a result. Prior to Landry’s election win last fall, Democratic Gov. John Bel Edwards used his political power to veto bills that, according to DeAngelis, “would have allowed all families with children who weren’t reading at grade level or had special needs to take their state-funding education dollars to schools of their choice.”

Landry outlined his commitment to parental empowerment on the campaign trail: “Parents should be empowered to decide how their child can best achieve their fullest academic potential because parents are the most important voice in a child’s education.”

With his soon-coming signature, Landry will make good on his promise by delivering education freedom to all Louisianans during his inaugural year in office. Don’t be surprised by the other transformational education reforms this governor makes in future years. With Landry’s leadership, gone will be the days of Louisiana’s K-12 students lagging far behind.