“After two years of disappointing results, Louisiana’s larger voucher schools are starting to improve,” The New Orleans Times-Picayune reports. “Two thirds of the private schools that use public money to educate children from low-income families met academic expectations in 2015, compared to less than half last year.”

“The Louisiana Scholarship Program lets low-income students enroll in private school at taxpayer expense if they were attending mediocre or bad public schools or are entering kindergarten,” the Times-Picayune explains.

“Louisiana vouchers benefit a relatively small number of students, just more than 7,100 children statewide received one this year. The majority of those vouchers — about 4,000 — are used to attend Catholic schools run by the Archdiocese of New Orleans,” the Times-Picayune reported earlier this month.

According to Louisiana’s Education Department, even though the program is open only to children in the poorest neighborhoods, “the scholarship program’s increases in student achievement outpaced the majority” of public school systems.

While the vouchers are used to send children to religiously-affiliated schools, parents don’t mind even if they practice a different faith. They’re more concerned about their child’s future than making a political point.

“It has nothing to do with my child’s education,” Dana Livers who is not Catholic, but has sent her son to the Catholic school for the past five years, tells the Times-Picayune. “It’s hard to find a school that’s comparable to this one.”

And that has government employee unions in a rage.

Every child taken out of a failing government school and enrolled in a private school chips away at the union’s political power.

And those unions are out to dismantle the voucher program, despite the fact that test scores are rising among those school children.

The reason is pure greed. Teachers in private schools are less likely to be dues-paying union members than teachers in government-run schools.

More students in private schools and less in government schools would mean more teachers in private schools and less in government-run schools.

Fewer teachers in government-run schools mean fewer teachers paying dues to government employee unions.

Fewer teachers paying dues to government employee unions means less cash in the bank accounts of government employee unions.

And that means less political power, something government employee unions can’t allow to happen.

“When school children start paying union dues, that’s when I’ll start representing the interests of school children,” union boss Albert Shanker, United Federation of Teachers (1964 –1984) and American Federation of Teachers (1974 –1997), once famously said.

And that belief — putting political power before the interests of school children still persists today.

“Despite what some among us would like to believe it is not because of our creative ideas. It is not because of the merit of our positions. It is not because we care about children and it is not because we have a vision of a great public school for every child,” National Education Association official Bob Chanin told the union’s Annual Meeting in 2009.

“NEA and its affiliates are effective advocates because we have power,” he boasted.

The only question now is whether Louisiana lawmakers will bow to the government unions who want to force children to remain in the dues-paying failing schools, or will they support parents who want their children to learn how to read.