LAE lawyers say two voucher eligible schools have responded to letters


POSTED: Monday, July 30, 2012 - 6:28pm

UPDATED: Tuesday, July 31, 2012 - 12:11pm

Brian Blackwell, lawyer for the Louisiana Association of Educators confirmed to NBC33 that one voucher eligible school has agreed to hold off on taking funding, and another has agreed to hold funds in a separate account and not use them until the courts determine in October the validity of the program. But officials with the Department of Education have said every school they talked to has no plans to hold off on the scholarship money.

"It says to me that they understand and they realize, and they know full well that attorney Blackwell was trying to help," Joyce Haynes, LAE President said, "this is a formality, done by lawyers, to tell the folks, basically if we prevail that money will be looked for."

But for those on the other side of the voucher fight, it doesn’t look like help.
They have said even at schools with only a few children participating, the students are the ones hurt in this fight.

"At a minimum I am sure we have at least two kids that had an opportunity that the union is now trying to block," Eric Lewis, of the Black

“…we find the kind of scare tactics used by the plaintiff to be shameful. The department has not received notification from any participating school indicating this form of intimidation has caused them to reconsider their participation,” John White, State Superintendent, said in a statement released Monday.

LAE lawyers have decided to not release the names of the two schools they have been in contact with. LAE president Joyce Haynes said the fight to turn the tide on voucher legislation is still far from over.

"We never fathomed that they would take that MFP money and give it away. It’s hard to understand why they would ever vote to do something they know is unconstitutional," Haynes said.

The district court ruled earlier this month that the judge did not have the power to block the law allowing for the voucher program. Blackwell said the next time the issue heads to the Louisiana Supreme Court this October.

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