The U.S. Justice Department is attempting in federal court to ban Louisiana from continuing the voucher program for students who otherwise would attend public schools under federal desegregation orders. The lawsuit alleges that the scholarship program is, in some cases, leading to more segregation in schools.
Jindal said such a claim is completely false. He challenged Obama and Attorney General Eric Holder to come to Louisiana and explain the legal challenges to the 8,000 students Jindal said are benefiting from the program. “They would send our children to these failing schools,” Jindal said.
Vouchers are state tax dollars to help pay for students who attend public schools rated C, D or F, and who meet other conditions, to attend private schools.
Jindal and other backers say the aid offers students trapped in poor schools a way out. Critics say vouchers drain vital dollars from traditional public schools.
“Our children only grow up once,” Jindal said. “They only get one chance to get a good education.”
The U.S. Justice Department previously said in a prepared statement that the agency is not trying to end the voucher program. “The United States seeks a straightforward goal: to ensure that the State of Louisiana implements its school voucher program in a manner that complies with the U.S. Constitution and longstanding federal desegregation orders.”
You know what? I'm not even going to touch this. Instead I'll point you over to Lamar who utterly destroys it.
As I mentioned yesterday, Bobby Jindal and John White aren’t even attempting to sell this scam to poor white kids in poor majority white schools in the country, and they’re not recruiting the state’s best private and most competitive private schools. No, instead, more than 93% of school vouchers are being given to African-Americans, almost entirely from inner-city neighborhoods (neighborhoods, it’s worth noting, where the public schools are the most important civic assets and institutions).
Under the pretense of “choice,” we are effectively defunding our most vulnerable inner-city schools in order to enrich right-wing churches, profiteering ideologues, and schools under significant financial strain (that is, schools that need the voucher students because without the additional stream of revenue, they could go bankrupt). And again (it’s worth reemphasizing), we’re marketing these schools to African-American parents and children, and we’re pretending as if this is “empowering.”
I’m not suggesting that the voucher schools are universally bad; I’m saying: It’s close. And if you have any doubt over why the Department of Justice is dedicating their time and resources to this or how this program undermines desegregation, consider this: The voucher program is disproportionately placing African-American students in underfunded, completely unaccountable, and completely unregulated schools, and in so doing, it is ensuring, in many districts, that public schools become even more segregated.