Contact: Charles Siler
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
DOJ 'REVIEW’ ACTION COULD REGULATE LOUISIANA VOUCHER PROGRAM OUT OF EXISTENCE
LOUISIANA FAMILIES TO APPEAL TO COURT THURSDAY, WITH IMPLICATIONS FOR SCHOOL CHOICE PROGRAMS NATIONWIDE
In light of efforts by the Justice Department to impose burdensome regulations on Louisiana's popular school voucher program, the Goldwater Institute filed an appeal Thursday, on behalf of Louisiana families and the Black Alliance for Educational Options, asking the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals to allow the families' voices to be heard in the case.
Widespread misreporting has suggested that the Justice Department had ceased its attack on Louisiana's voucher program, which is composed of over 90% minority children, but according to attorneys at the Goldwater Institute, the federal government is a bigger threat than ever.
Last month, a U.S. District Court denied Louisiana families' intervention request and also indicated it would impose requirements on the voucher program to ensure that the program complies with federal desegregation orders (many of which date back to the 1970s). While DOJ has withdrawn its original motion to the court seeking to cease the program altogether, it urges a new procedure whereby the Justice Department will have 45 days after each Louisiana child is approved for the program to bless or deny that child's admittance into the program. In essence, the program may now be regulated out of existence.
According to Clint Bolick, Vice President for Litigation at the Goldwater Institute and lead attorney for Louisiana families in this case, this makes the need for an appeal by families critical.
“The Justice Department continues to threaten educational opportunities for children who need them desperately,” said Clint Bolick, vice president for litigation at the Goldwater Institute. “It is outrageous that the Justice Department is blocking the courtroom doors for those who have the most at stake: the families themselves.”
Far from impeding desegregation efforts, Louisiana has been held up as one of the three states doing best as closing the black-white achievement gap among schoolchildren. More than 200 school districts throughout the country remain under federal desegregation orders, meaning that if an appeals court does not strike down this district court blessing, school choice programs throughout the country could be similarly imperiled.
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.