Louisiana Teachers Union Threatens Potential Voucher Schools with Litigation

Posted: Jul 31, 2012 7:28 AM
Governor Jindal signed a momentous education package into law this past April. Jindal’s education package was full of conservative reforms. The most notable conservative reform, and one championed by the late Milton Friedman, is the dramatic expansion of the state’s voucher program. School vouchers were originally concentrated on post- Hurricane Katrina New Orleans, but school choice is being extended to the rest of the state under Louisiana’s new law. There are now 380,000 poor and middle-class students in low-performing schools who are eligible for school vouchers in Louisiana.

By now, it shouldn’t be a surprise that the state’s teachers union vehemently opposed these reforms. Teachers unions almost reflexively attack any conservative reforms to education. The Louisiana Association of Teachers has decided to demonstrate their continued disapproval by bullying all of the state high schools participating in the voucher program. Via the Pelican Post :

On Wednesday, the LAE’s attorney, Brian F. Blackwell, of Blackwell & Associates in Baton Rouge, sent letters to each of the schools that have elected to participate in the state’s voucher program. In the letter, Blackwell claims that any school participating in the voucher program would be receiving “an unconstitutional payment of public funds.”

The letter goes on to insist that each school inform the Department of Education that it will not accept funding through the voucher program until the legal challenge has been resolved. Failure to do so by Friday, July 27 at 4:00 P.M. will result in the union instituting litigation against the school.

School choice takes power away from teachers unions and gives it back to parents. Public schools in Lousiana are now forced to compete with private schools in order to attract voucher-eligible students. The teachers unions are desperate to maintain the status quo in education, desperate enough to sue high schools for accepting voucher students from failing schools. Fortunately for Louisiana students, these unions are no longer controlling the agenda in public schools.

This post was authored by Townhall.com editorial intern Kyle Bonnell.