Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Louisiana Supreme Court benchslaps Jindal funding mechanism for school vouchers

Posted By on Tue, May 7, 2013 at 11:49 AM

A blow — and a decisive one — for Gov. Bobby Jindal's attempt to remake the Louisiana public education system:

Louisiana's Supreme Court has ruled that the funding method for a private school tuition voucher program pushed through the Legislature last year by Gov. Bobby Jindal is unconstitutional.

Tuesday's 6-1 decision upholds a state district court ruling that the state constitution forbids using money earmarked for public schools in the state's Minimum Foundation Program to pay for private school tuition.

There will be plenty of reaction soon. Scott McKay at The Hayride weighs in early:

This is hardly the victory the teacher unions will make it out to be, because Jindal can merely create a new line item in the general fund covering the voucher program and then cut MFP funding by a commensurate amount. Obviously he’s going to need to have a majority vote at the Legislature to make that happen, and it seems they’re a bit cheesed off at him at present, so that’s one more fight the governor probably doesn’t need.

But while the decision is more of an additional obstacle than a substantive defeat, its timing is atrocious for Jindal — and it will add to the perception that nobody’s minding the store — a perception that the current budget chaos is injecting jet fuel into.

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