Although voucher program unconstitutional, Jindal believes initiative can continue

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wwltv.com

Posted on May 8, 2013 at 7:17 AM

Updated Wednesday, May 8 at 7:21 AM

WWLTV.com
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NEW ORLEANS - Governor Bobby Jindal remained positive about the ruling concerning the controversial school voucher program. In November,  a judge ruled that the voucher program was improperly funded, and, on Tuesday, a Louisiana Supreme Court judge upheld the decision.

The program was financed with money from the Minimum Foundation Program, which is meant to be spent on public education. The judge said that money cannot be sent to private or parochial schools.

Nearly two dozen schools in New Orleans take part in the voucher program.

About 5,000 students are enrolled, which is set to increase to 8,000 for the fall and cost about $42 million.

The Louisiana Democratic Party applauded the decision and argued that diverting dollars from already struggling public schools is both wrong and unconstitutional

Both Jindal and the Louisiana Education Superintendent John White also called the ruling a victory but from a different standpoint.

They are just happy that the entire initiative was not shutdown.

Jindal maintained that the program helped students.

"When we passed this reform, a third of our kids were below grade level. Forty-four percent of our schools were failing…we were spending over a billion dollars of our state tax dollars on failing public schools," Jindal said.

Despite the ruling, Jindal assured parents that the program will still be paid for.

He said it will have to be included in the state's budget.

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