Federal judge rules Louisiana voucher program conflicts with desegregation order in local school district
As reported by The Associated Press (AP) in The Times-Picayune, a federal district court judge has held that the operation of Governor Bobby Jindal’s voucher program in Tangipahoa Parish conflicts with a decades-old desegregation case in the parish. U.S. District Judge Ivan Lemelle ruled that a series of sweeping education changes clash with court orders in the 47-year-old desegregation case.
Those changes include the voucher program and a revamp of teacher job protections. The voucher program pays private school tuition for some lower-income students from low-performing schools. School system attorneys argue that it diverts state money from local schools — and from efforts to comply with orders in the 1965 desegregation case.
The ruling could have implications beyond Tangipahoa Parish, since several other Louisiana school districts are under federal desegregation orders.
Source: The Times-Picayune, 11/26/12, By AP
[Editor's Note: In November 2012, Legal Clips summarized an article by the AP in The Times-Picayune, which reported that the state's education chief and the state board of education were ordered to appear in court at the end of October 2012 and show why the court should not block further implementation of the part of the voucher law that affects funding for the Tangipahoa system and “commence full Minimum Foundation Program funding to the Tangipahoa Parish School Board.” The ruling demonstrates the outcome of those proceedings. The state lawsuit was scheduled to be heard on November 28, 2012.]