Booker, an outspoken supporter of private school choice, was selected by Sen. Peterson, the chairwoman of the Louisiana Democratic Party
BATON ROUGE, La., Aug. 3, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The American Federation for Children—the nation's voice for school choice—today praised Louisiana Senator Karen Carter Peterson (D) for selecting Newark Mayor Cory Booker (D)—a strong supporter of legislation that would have created an expansive private school choice program in his home state of New Jersey—to keynote the annual Jefferson Jackson Dinner in New Orleans tomorrow night.
Peterson selected Booker, a rising national star in the Democratic party who was among the most vocal supporters of New Jersey's proposed Opportunity Scholarship Act—a bill that would have created a scholarship tax credit program for children in failing schools—earlier this year, to deliver one of two keynote addresses at the annual Democratic Party fundraiser.
Though the Opportunity Scholarship Act failed to receive a vote prior to the end of New Jersey's legislative session, a strong bipartisan coalition of Louisiana legislators voted in April to expand a voucher program in New Orleans to eligible families statewide.
Booker was also a keynote speaker during the American Federation for Children's annual National Policy Summit in May. His rousing speech at the event clearly laid out his belief in school choice.
"I cannot ever stand up and stand against a parent having options," Booker said at the Federation's Summit earlier this year.
"We're pleased to see Sen. Peterson embracing a strong champion for private school choice like Mayor Booker," said Kevin P. Chavous, a senior advisor to the Federation. "We hope that, like Mayor Booker, Sen. Peterson will one day pledge her own support for educational options for low-income families."
The Student Scholarships for Educational Excellence Program will serve children from low-income families in failing schools all across the state this fall. More than 10,300 families submitted applications for the expanded program, and the Department of Education announced last week that more than 5,600 scholarship offers were mailed to eligible families.
Earlier this week, the Federation's sister organization, the Alliance for School Choice, launched a legal defense fund (www.LouisianaDefenseFund.com) to protect against the threat of a lawsuit against schools from a local teachers union.
SOURCE American Federation for Children