Justice Dept. tries to stop La. school vouchers - KNOE 8 News; KNOE-TV; KNOE.com |

Justice Dept. tries to stop La. school vouchers

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NEW ORLEANS (AP) - The U.S. Justice Department is trying to stop the state from distributing school vouchers in any district that remains under a desegregation court order.

In papers filed in U.S. District Court in New Orleans on Saturday, the Justice Department said Louisiana distributed vouchers in 2012-13 to nearly 600 public school students in districts that are still under such orders, and "many of those vouchers impeded the desegregation process."

Republican Gov. Bobby Jindal called the department's action "shameful" and said President Barack Obama and Attorney General Eric Holder "are trying to keep kids trapped in failing public schools against the wishes of their parents."

The Justice Department says Louisiana has given vouchers this school year to students in at least 22 districts remaining under desegregation orders.

Jindal called school choice "a moral imperative."

Here's a statement from the governor:

"The Obama Administration thinks parents should have to seek their approval any time parents want to send their child to a school of their choice. After generations of being denied a choice, parents finally can choose a school for their child, but now the federal government is stepping in to prevent parents from exercising this right. Shame on them. Parents should have the ability to decide where to send their child to school."

"Giving every single child - no matter their race or their income - the opportunity to get a great education is a moral imperative. 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. 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."

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