Gov. Jindal’s School Voucher Program Ruled Unconstitutional
BATON ROUGE, La. (KPEL) -- A Louisiana judge has struck down Gov. Bobby Jindal's controversial school voucher program.
State Judge Jim Kelley ruled Friday afternoon that the program, which would have used state dollars to allow students to attend private schools, is unconstitutional.
Kelley said the program improperly takes money from the state's public schools' funding formula and from local tax dollars and diverts them to private schools.
State education officials, though, said the program was created in line with the state's constitution.
Jindal blasted the decision, calling it "wrong headed and a travesty for parents across Louisiana who want nothing more than for their children to have an equal opportunity at receiving a great education."
In question, though, is the status of the more than 4,900 students currently enrolled in the program in 117 private schools.
"This ruling changes nothing for the students currently in the program," Jindal said.
Shortly after the ruling, Department of Education Superintendent John White said the state will appeal Kelley's ruling.
"We strongly disagree with the ruling," White said. "We are optimistic this decision will be reversed on appeal."
"We will appeal this decision," Jindal said, "and I'm confident we will prevail."