A New Orleans-based federal judge halted Gov. Bobby Jindal’s voucher program in Tangipahoa Parish last week, saying it conflicts with a decades-old desegregation case.
The ruling could have implications for the statewide program, since more than 30 of the 69 parish and city school districts are under federal desegregation orders, according to the Louisiana Federation of Teachers. Many of those parishes also participate in the voucher program, which covers 4,900 students around the state.
U.S. District Judge Ivan Lemelle ruled that a series of sweeping education changes pushed by Gov. Jindal and passed by lawmakers this year clash with court orders in the 19,400-student district’s 47-year-old desegregation case.
The voucher program pays private school tuition for some students from low-performing schools. School system lawyers argue it diverts state money from local schools and from efforts to comply with orders in the 1965 desegregation case seeking equal treatment and funding for all students.
A version of this article appeared in the December 05, 2012 edition of Education Week as Federal Judge Halts La. District’s Vouchers