Louisiana Judge Questions Whether Vouchers Impacting Desegregation Orders

Last Updated: October 29, 2012

This article appeared in the October 2012 Rural Policy Matters.

Editor's note: Links are free and current at time of posting, but may require registration or expire over time.

Rural Tangipahoa Parish school system argues that a new Louisiana voucher law that diverts money per-pupil foundation funding from the local school district, is making it impossible for the district to comply with a long-standing desegregation order. That order requires the district to run magnet programs and build four new elementary schools. The district is projected to have an $8 million deficit next school year.

U.S. District Judge Ivan L. R. Lemelle has ordered State Superintendent John White and the state board of education to testify in the case and explain why funding for vouchers should not be blocked and re-diverted to Tangipahoa Parrish through the state’s Minimum Foundation Program.

The voucher law, championed by Governor Bobby Jindal and passed by the legislature earlier this year, allows students enrolled in schools that have earned a C, D, or F in the state’s accountability system to attend private schools or take classes from private providers with state funding.

In Tangipahoa Parish, 16,600 students are eligible for the voucher program.

Read more:


Read more from the October 2012 Rural Policy Matters.