The Washington Times alerts readers: “The White House has taken Louisiana’s poorest schoolchildren and crushed their hopes for a better future.”
This is all about unions against school choice and is a disgusting display of arrogance by the Obama administration and the Eric Holder-led Justice Department. I know first hand how well Louisiana’s school choice program has worked. It is to be hoped that Governor Bobby Jindal can slap back the failed Obama team and retain Louisiana’s scholarship program. The Times continues:
In 2008, Louisiana set up a scholarship program giving any student from a low-income family a chance to attend a private school that promises a better education. It’s a color-blind system, but the beneficiaries are overwhelmingly minority. The Justice Department insists that families in 34 of Louisiana’s worst school systems must never have a chance to take advantage of the program. Those school systems remain under desegregation orders left over from the 1970s, and the racial bean-counters in the Obama administration argue that school choice impedes the “desegregation process.”
Celilia Primary School in St. Martin Parish, for example, lost six black students to the program. Administration officials cited this as proof that vouchers were “reinforcing the school’s racial identity as a white school.” The administration’s alternative is to deny these black boys and girls a chance to attend a school that will provide them with a better education — in the name of fighting racism.
Gov. Bobby Jindal, a Republican, is committed to keeping the scholarships alive. Calling the administration’s race-baiting “shameful,” he vows to fight the Justice Department in court. “We will not sit by while folks in Washington, D.C. try to tell Louisiana parents that they are not able to attend the school of their choice,” says Mr. Jindal. “Make no mistake — this motion is a threat to the children in our state who only get one chance to grow up and deserve the opportunity to get the best education so they can pursue their dreams.”
The real issue for the White House is not desegregation but union politics. School choice is about as popular with teachers’ unions as crosses are at a convention of vampires. Big Labor only cares about maintaining the guarantee of lifetime employment without accountability based on performance. Nothing says “failure” more loudly than a bunch of students packing their book bags to head elsewhere. That’s why union bosses are moving quickly to block school choice.