Judge orders state to provide information on voucher program schools, students


Associated Press

NEW ORLEANS (AP) - A federal judge has ordered Louisiana education officials to provide federal lawyers with regular reports each year on students and schools involved in the state-funded private school tuition voucher program.

The Justice Department has sought to review the state's assignments of voucher students to make sure they don't promote segregation in violation of an order from a 1971 desegregation case.

U.S. District Judge Ivan Lemelle's order, released Tuesday, requires that the state provide federal officials with lists of voucher applicants and information including whether they were approved for private-school funding and which school they will attend. The lists will have to be provided 10 days before the student's families are notified of their voucher eligibility.

"Today is great day for school choice and access to an opportunity for a better education for all Louisianians," Gov. Bobby Jindal said in a statement issued after the ruling.  "I am pleased that the court rejected President Obama's Justice Department's attempt to establish a review period where bureaucrats in Washington would be able to reject scholarship awards solely because the child is not the 'right' skin color.

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