Contact: Charles Siler
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
DESPITE FEDERAL RETREAT, LOUISIANA VOUCHER PROGRAM REMAINS IN PERIL IN FRIDAY COURT BATTLE
Federal district court Judge Ivan Lemelle will hear arguments tomorrow over whether the Louisiana school voucher program, which serves thousands of low-income schoolchildren, should be made subject to a 40-year-old desegregation lawsuit.
“Despite some media reports to the contrary, the Justice Department has not backed off its efforts to do harm to this program,” declared Clint Bolick, vice president for litigation at the Goldwater Institute, which filed a brief on behalf of several voucher families and the Louisiana Black Alliance for Educational Options (BAEO).
The court will hear arguments on whether the court has jurisdiction over the voucher program; and if so, whether the court should create a process to monitor and approve the program.
The Justice Department filed its motion in Brumfield v. Dodd, in which a 1970’s program providing textbooks and transportation was challenged because it was a means of avoiding desegregation. The voucher program requires all participating private schools to be nondiscriminatory, and roughly 90 percent of the participating students are minority. Although the Justice Department has backed off its demand for an injunction, it is asking for the court to impose a cumbersome process before allowing the program to continue.
“This program vindicates the promise of equal opportunity and has no business being subject to a 40-year-old lawsuit,” Bolick added. “This is a prosecution in search of a victim.”
Over 200 school districts across the country remain under federal desegregation orders, meaning that if the feds succeed in regulating the Louisiana voucher program into destruction, similar wars could be waged by DOJ against school choice programs throughout the country.
The hearing will be held in the federal district court in New Orleans at 10 AM. Bolick and BAEO officials will be available to media following the event.
To schedule an interview with Clint Bolick, please contact Charles Siler at (602) 633-8960 or firstname.lastname@example.org. The Goldwater Institute has an in-house VideoLink studio for rapid cable hook-up if needed.