Louisiana Teachers Take Gov. Jindal’s School Vouchers Law to Court

The law is the most expansive school voucher program in the nation.

By Julianne Hing Nov 28, 2012

Louisiana teachers were in court today to challenge Act 2, the nation’s most expansive statewide school voucher law passed this year, and the cornerstone of Gov. Bobby Jindal’s education reform victories. In a trial which began this morning, Louisiana teacher unions argue that the law, which hands state money to private entities who take in public students, is unconstitutional. In its challenge ([PDF](http://la.aft.org/files/article_assets/D518A6D9-994B-C700-AF7A3253B878E393.pdf)), the Louisiana Federation of Teachers and other plaintiffs argue that Act 2, which the Louisiana legislature hastily passed this spring, is unconstitutional because the statewide voucher program will divert funds meant for public schools to private entities, including private companies that run online education programs, and private schools, including religious schools. Louisiana teachers also argue that the state’s legislative process was abused, forcing lawmakers to vote on a law that got inadequate consideration. "In the haste to steamroll these bills through the Legislature, the constitution was often treated like little more than a list of inconvenient suggestions," LFT President Steve Monaghan said in a statement. "The passage of these laws has elevated legal challenges to acts of civic responsibility." The trial will be brisk; opening statements happened this morning, and Judge Timothy Kelley expects a ruling by the end of the week, the New Orleans Times-Picayune [reported](http://www.nola.com/politics/index.ssf/2012/11/louisiana_voucher_lawsuit_judg.html). But both sides do not expect the legal fight, and the political conversation around the changing role of the nation’s public schools, to wrap up anytime soon.