Appeal for state’s voucher program being heard in Louisiana Supreme Court


POSTED: Tuesday, March 19, 2013 - 3:45pm

UPDATED: Tuesday, March 19, 2013 - 5:04pm

The Louisiana Supreme Court is hearing arguments for and against Governor Jindal's state voucher program.

Hundreds of parents and supporters of the Louisiana Black Alliance for Educational Options rallied in support of the state's voucher program.

The Louisiana Association of Educators the Louisiana Federation of Teachers and the School Board Association filed suit against the state, challenging the constitutionality of the program because of how it's funded.

"The Louisiana constitution is what we depend on to take care of those public schools and so for now, going on the fifth year, they have not given growth money to the districts,” Joyce Haynes, President of the Louisiana Association of Educators, said. “As a matter of fact, they've caused the districts to use their reserves, and we are now at the point where districts are starting to suffer."

A Baton Rouge district judge ruled in their favor, calling the program unconstitutional. Now, the state is appealing that ruling at the state court's highest level.

"How can something be unconstitutional that's not unconstitutional in the first place? If you take my tax dollars, and give it to the public schools, how come is it now you deem it illegal and unconstitutional to apply it to where, have the right to say where it goes?" Anthony White, parent and supporter of the voucher program, said.

The state is paying about $25-million in tuition and fees this school year for roughly 5,000 students.

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