This is the Choice Media #EdReformMinute for Friday, October 12th.
Imagine for a moment you have a job in a failing public school, and your state passed a new voucher law, which gives parents the option of pulling their kid out of your school and instead send them to a private school. What would you do about it?
Support sweeping reforms to increase teacher quality and improve discipline, so parents and kids would be persuaded to stay in your school? Or just work to kill the voucher law so parents don't have the option to leave?
Dateline Louisiana, where the two state teachers unions and the state school boards association are suing to… kill the voucher law.
The case is mostly predicated on a piece of the Louisiana constitution that requires the state to annual develop a minimum school funding formula for all "public schools." They're arguing that since that section doesn't mention private schools, the omission implies a prohibition against public money to private schools. Bill Maurer of the Institute for Justice will be one of the lawyers defending the school choice law.
"What they're trying to do is use a procedural requirement in the Louisiana constitution to make a substantive argument to keep money from going from public schools to private schools."
The trouble is with 44% of Louisiana schools rated "D" or "F" by the state department of education, killing this voucher program and keeping the kids in the failing schools would be, in fact, a legitimate violation of other parts of the state constitution.
"What they're forgetting is that the Louisiana constitution is actually very clear, in the sense that what the obligation of the Louisiana state legislature is, is not only to fund public schools, but it's also to provide an education for the children of the state of Louisiana. By doing this, the state of Louisiana is actually fulfilling its constitutional obligation."
Mark your calendars for Wednesday, November 28, 2012. That's the day the Louisiana anti-voucher lawsuit goes to court.
All the day's news in education reform available at ChoiceMedia.TV.
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