Monday, July 9, 2012

Opponents to Education Reform are at it…Again

Families across Louisiana celebrated a legislative victory earlier this year thanks to a bipartisan coalition in the state legislature and the strong leadership of Governor Bobby Jindal. Together, they expanded New Orleans’ voucher program statewide, making almost 400,000 additional families eligible for school choice.  Later this week, we'll get official numbers as to how many of those families followed up and applied to participate in the program; early estimates put the number in the thousands. 

But not everyone was happy.  Opponents—including teachers unions and local school boards—are focused on maintaining the status quo.  They decried the expanded program, and, instead of focusing on giving all children an education that is tailored to their needs, they sued, wanting the court system to disband this program.  

But the Institute for Justice (IJ), a national civil liberties law firm has filed a motion to intervene in the lawsuits against the program.  Representing parents, the Alliance for School Choice, and the Black Alliance for Educational Options, IJ has a long track record of defending—and winning—these cases. 

Preventing disadvantaged children from accessing a quality education is shameful.  And AFC Senior Advisor Kevin Chavous, who has worked in the state for years building legislative support for private school choice, echoed that sentiment:
The demand for this program has been demonstrated by the thousands of Louisiana families pleading for more educational options not only in New Orleans, but across the entire state.  We’re confident that IJ’s strong legal presence will prevail for those families seeking the quality educational options their children have long deserved.
More than 380,000 students are eligible to participate under the expanded Student Scholarships for Educational Excellence program, which is designed to help students from low-income backgrounds who attend persistently poor-performing public schools.  In the 2011-12 school year, more than 1,800 students living in Orleans Parish participated in the program.

Check out a release from the Alliance for School Choice on we're standing with IJ, BAEO, and parents from across the state.

- American Federation for Children | Alliance for School Choice, MSG

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