Covering Louisiana

Nov 26, 2012 4:16 PM by AP

Judge rules voucher law conflicts with deseg order

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) - A New Orleans-based federal judge has halted Gov. Bobby Jindal's voucher program in Tangipahoa Parish, saying it conflicts with a decades-old desegregation case in the parish.

The Advocate reports that U.S. District Judge Ivan Lemelle Monday ruled that a series of sweeping education changes clash with court orders in the 47-year-old desegregation case. Those changes including the voucher program and a revamp of teacher job protections.

The voucher program pays private school tuition for some lower-income students from low-performing schools. School system attorneys argue that it diverts state money from local schools - and from efforts to comply with orders in the 1965 desegregation case.

The ruling could have implications beyond Tangipahoa Parish, since several other Louisiana school districts are under federal desegregation orders.

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