Voucher program to go forward


POSTED: Tuesday, July 10, 2012 - 5:15pm

UPDATED: Tuesday, July 10, 2012 - 6:20pm

Aletha Haynes is a mother of four kids in East Baton Rouge Parish's school system. She's ecstatic a district court judge has decided to not stand in the way of the recently passed voucher program. It allows low-income kids from underperforming schools to more easily transfer to the school of their choice.

"If we care about our children then we should think about what we can do to make them successful," says Taylor.

Judge Tim Kelley agreed with the state that he didn't have the power to stop the funding for the program. That funding goes into effect on August 1.

Steve Monaghan is the president of the Louisiana Federation of Teachers. He believes this decision could have disastrous effects on Louisiana's students.

"The damage we consider to be real if the program goes forward,” he said. “We know that public school funding is going to be affected at least in our distribution of the funding since it comes out as it does.”

Lawyers for the teachers' unions had argued it's unconstitutional to use money meant for public schools and shift it to private and parochial schools. They say despite the setback their fight has only just begun.

"It's simply the beginning of a case that I think has very profound implications, not only in Louisiana, but nationally. And that's why I think you see so many people sitting on the other side, too," says Monaghan.

But for Valerie Cox and her children, she's just happy that, at least for now, they will be getting the type of education she feels they need and deserve.

"I'm grateful that the opportunity for our children is here, for my child. So I'm grateful," says Valerie Cox.

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