By Mary C. Tillotson | Watchdog.org
The U.S. Department of Justice’s motion asking Louisiana to stop giving vouchers to students in certain school districts was never intended to keep vouchers from students, the department is saying now.
It was just looking for information.
“The Justice Department is back-pedaling furiously on its motion. It appears, at least for now, to be abandoning its demand for an injunction. But its new approach is disingenuous. If this was really about data collection, it never would have demanded such drastic relief,” said Clint Bolick, vice president for litigation at the Goldwater Institute, who is representing Louisiana families, in an email.
Louisiana awarded vouchers to nearly 5,000 low-income students assigned to average-to-failing schools last year, giving them an opportunity to attend private schools. More than 90 percent of voucher recipients are minorities, and more than 80 percent are assigned to schools rated D or F, according to the program’s website.
At least 600 students’ opportunities were — and may still be — in jeopardy.
In August, the department filed a motion asking the court to forbid Louisiana from issuing vouchers to students in districts not complying with the racial desegregation orders issued decades ago, and to require the state to file demographic information regarding the impact vouchers have on the racial makeup of the public schools.
The voucher program impeded the decades-old desegregation process by encouraging racial imbalance in the schools, the DOJ alleged.
The change in demographics is negligible, noted Jason Bedrick, policy analyst at the Cato Institute‘s Center for Educational Freedom.
The DOJ amended the motion Monday, claiming the department’s “key objectives” in filing the August motion were to acquire information about voucher students and the program’s impact on desegregation, and to obtain an agreement from Louisiana to review and file that information annually.
The controversy sparked by the August motion — including sharp words from Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal and former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush — may be the reason for the DOJ’s backpedaling, Bolick said.
“The original motion appears to have been staff-driven. Now it has become a major liability to the Obama Administration, which seems to be engaged in damage control and trying to save face,” he wrote.
Contact Mary C. Tillotson at firstname.lastname@example.org
- Arizona mom won’t give up on special needs kids, no matter what state says
- Reviving a 1970s lawsuit, DOJ would keep black students in failing schools
- Relocating sexually abusive teachers would be more difficult under Pennsylvania bill
- DOJ backpedals on Louisiana voucher lawsuit
- Court says charter schools won’t pay for Atlanta’s pension debts
- Biggest education impact from shutdown? Furloughed bureaucrats
- Appeals court upholds Arizona school choice program
- Indiana’s voucher program expands; diversity a factor in one family’s choice of school
- ‘Vouchers don’t do much good for students’ claim is false
- NYC mayor’s race could affect school choice
- Vermont public school goes independent, raises ire from state bureaucracy
- Arizona education savings accounts aren’t vouchers, study says
- Legal institute fights Alabama union’s attempt to repeal school tax credit
- Experts: School choice improves education in public schools
- SC school-choice program helps special needs kids, could expand
- DOJ wants Louisiana parents out of voucher lawsuit
- U.S. House passes bill to prevent ‘passing the trash’
- ‘Non-traditional’ journalists barred from viewing tax-funded test results early
- New center hopes to help charter schools help kids with special needs
- Charter school advocate to Philadelphia schools: Listen to parents
- $45 million not enough for Philadelphia teachers’ union
- Study: Rhode Islanders support school choice
- Study: Choice would help failing Chicago schools
- Scholarships could lift SC school dedicated to real-life, hands-on learning
- Parents make good school choices, study says
- Divisive charter school reform bill headed toward vote in PA
- In Louisiana school voucher lawsuit, DOJ changes gears
- Opponents sue Washington to overturn charter school law
- School choice proponents’ challenge? Educating parents
- Judge: Federal oversight may not hamper school voucher program
- PA lawmakers push to amend tight teacher furlough policies
- College ready: A Milwaukee inner-city school success story
- Proposed economic furloughs could slay sacred cow of seniority in Pennsylvania schools
- What is Massachusetts doing right?
- Goldwater to appeal Louisiana school voucher decision
- Want to end poverty? Educate the kids
- Breakdown in Philly schools not only about the money
- North Carolina scholarship program on firm legal footing, attorney argues
- Philadelphia school district threatens charters
- Belief in student ability key to success at Milwaukee charter school
- Three things to know about Philadelphia’s school budget: Debt, pensions and safety
- Choosing to sue: Here’s a look at some 2013 lawsuits involving school choice
- Philly charter schools outperform district counterparts
- California students sue state over ineffective teachers
- Study: Public supports parent choice in education
- Under new management, Philly Renaissance Schools show growth
- New Orleans tops school choice index
- AZ to consider four school-choice expansion bills
- Florida family ‘blessed’ to be apart of scholarship program
- PA lawmakers put education at top of agenda in election year
- Louisiana: Feds ‘more interested in skin color than … education’
- Charter school for Philadelphia foster children will not be renewed
- Governor ties proposed PA education funding to targeted grants
- WA’s first charter school serves children, families of ‘extreme poverty’
- Vermont attempts to take independence from independent schools
- Philly stumbles on way to simplifying enrollment system
- Plan for Philly schools keeps charters in check
- Missouri ballot initiative would increase funding for public, private schools
- New York charter school focuses on family, community
- NC school vouchers on hold
- WI voucher bill would help special needs students denied open enrollment
- Philadelphia schools will end another year in red
- PA universities expect state, students to pick up tab on rising tuition
- Two ESA bills get House support in AZ
- Thousands rally to support New York charter schools
- California’s defense begins in Vergara trial
- Accountability or overregulation? Charter supporters split over Minnesota bill
- Bill would make Florida students eligible for scholarships