In 2008, the Louisiana Scholarship Program was created to allow low income students in New Orleans the option of transferring out of failing schools. Four years later it was expanded to the rest of the state.
Ninety one percent of the 5,000 vouchers issued in 2012 went to minority students. But, last year the Justice Department filed a lawsuit to prevent some students from getting these vouchers claiming that some of are interfering with the desegregation process. The Obama Administration wants to strip school choice decisions from minority families under the guise of helping minorities
Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal is a strong advocate for school choice and accused President Obama and Eric Holder of forcing students to stay in failing schools.
“We will draw a hard line against allowing the federal government to control the scholarship program and handpick schools for Louisiana’s children,” Jindal said. “No parent should have to get the President’s permission – no matter which party that President is in – just to put their kid in the school of their choice.”
The Louisiana program survived the legal assault from the Justice Department and remains intact. Poor Louisiana families will still be able to have the option of transferring their children out of underperforming schools.
The Justice Department is now claiming the school choice program in Wisconsin is violating the Americans with Disabilities Act even though there have been no complaints that the law has been broken.
“But, as many have pointed out, the Justice Department’s argument is completely unprecedented and baseless. For starters, Title II of the ADA applies only to public entities and not private schools. Using a voucher to enroll a child at a private school does not turn the school into a public entity, just as using food stamps at a grocery store or welfare benefits at a child-care provider doesn’t make them public entities either. There is longstanding U.S. Supreme Court precedent and past U.S. Department of Education policy to uphold this theory.
In addition, Wisconsin law already prohibits private schools from denying admission to any student on the basis of a disability and requires the state to allocate vouchers to all eligible students, irrespective of a disability. So far, these laws seem to be working. According to the state’s superintendent of public instruction, an adamant opponent of choice, the state has received no complaints of disability discrimination in the choice program.”
President Obama has been obstructing parents from making educational decisions for their children for some time now.
The Opportunity Scholarship Program in Washingon, DC offers vouchers for children of low income families to attend private schools. Even though the President’s daughters attend private schools, he doesn’t believe DC families of lower means should have that same opportunity.
Anyone who knows his way around a balance sheet can point out that this clearly is a losing situation not only for the families but for the government and taxpayers as well. President Obama is siding with teachers unions and attempting to trap children of struggling families in failing schools.