Funding for voucher program ruled unconstitutional
BATON ROUGE, LA (NBC33) — Almost 5000 students' educational future is in limbo after the funding for a voucher program they are enrolled in was deemed unconstitutional by a judge in district court on Friday. Lawyers for the teachers' union say the judge was just following the constitution.
"The judge found violations of the constitution and that's why we have courts to review these types of actions and determine whether they comply with the supreme law of the land and that's what the constitution is," says plaintiff’s attorney Larry Samuel.
Judge Timothy Kelley ruled that the Minimum Foundation Program fund used to pay for more than $3 billion of public school education in Louisiana can't be diverted to pay for private and parochial schools. It's an interpretation the defense believes is the wrong one.
"We believe that our interpretation, our view of the case law of the Louisiana constitution with regard to the provision of education clearly allowed the government to provide these with a lifeline for students in failing or under performing schools," states defense attorney William Maurer.
Those students will be able to go to school on Monday and Maurer says he believes they'll be able to stay in the voucher program at least until the end of the year.