News > Press Releases
Sep 05, 2013
BATON ROUGE – Governor Bobby Jindal announced today that the State of Louisiana filed a motion to delay the Obama Administration’s petition to stop Louisiana’s Scholarship Program that gives low-income children from failing schools the opportunity to attend a better school.
Governor Jindal said, “President Obama and Attorney General Eric Holder are trying to legally jam the state in an ultimate attempt to force children from low-income families back into failing schools.
“The motion filed by the state today notes that the Obama Administration is trying to take the state to court over data that do not even exist yet, which shows that the Department of Justice fails to understand the basic operation of a program they are trying to end. It’s a clear political ploy by the Department of Justice.
“It’s yet another example of the Obama Administration carrying the water of their government union allies at the expense of Louisiana parents and their children who are only seeking an opportunity to achieve the American Dream.
“The reality though is that this entire case is backwards. Despite the fact that 90 percent of students in the program are minorities and 100 percent of students are from low-income families, the President and Attorney General are trying to deny equal opportunity to these children by using rules that were set up to prevent discrimination. It’s backwards and immoral.
“This is just the first step in our fight to stop the Obama Administration’s egregious attempt to deny Louisiana children an equal opportunity to get a great education.”
Background on the Louisiana Scholarship Program
In 2008, Governor Jindal and the Legislature approved a scholarship program for low-income students in New Orleans who were attending failing schools. The program was expanded statewide after legislation was proposed and signed by Governor Bobby Jindal.
From 2012 to 2013, the program saw an increase in the number of applicants, growing from approximately 10,000 to approximately 12,000. Roughly 8,000 students will participate as of fall 2013. In 2013, more than 93 percent of parents of students participating in the Scholarship Program reported satisfaction with their children’s school. Nearly 90 percent of students in the program are minorities.
From 2011 to 2013, students formerly in failing schools now attending scholarship schools improved on literacy and math tests, increasing by seven percent the number of students performing at grade level, even though in 2013, 60 percent of students taking the test had only been in their new schools for eight months.