We must insist that each student has the same opportunity to get an excellent education.

In high school at McMain Magnet Secondary School, students carried large backpacks bursting with textbooks.  Since Alcee Fortier High School was only five blocks away from us, we often caught the bus home together.  My friends from Fortier would make fun of us because of our large backpacks.  While our bags were full of books, the Fortier students had none.  One day, I asked a Fortier friend why he did not carry any books.  He explained that unlike McMain, the schools did not have the resources to provide students with proper textbooks. We were several blocks away and both public schools, but miles apart in our educational opportunities.  Similar inequities still persist in our public school system.

While at McMain, my parents had no control over the administration.   However, they constantly advocated on my behalf.  They met with teachers, coaches and even the principal. I respect the progress that has been made in our schools, but we should not be satisfied until all students have access to a first-rate education.  In the same way that my parents were champion for my own education, as Mayor, I would fight on behalf of every student in New Orleans.  We must insist that each student has the same opportunity to get an excellent education.

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