The students who are currently using the system are almost all black, according to the State Education Superintendent John White. The Justice Department noted a school where five white students left to take advantage of the scholarship program and said that this upset the “racial balance” of the school enough to make identifiable as a “black school.” If only five white students could upset the so called racial balance, then the school was probably already made up of a majority of black students. It makes no sense to deny these low-income students, a majority of whom are black, the opportunity to attend better schools and keep them in failing schools in order to fight racism.
This isn't the first battle the Louisiana Scholarship Program has faced. This past May the state Supreme Court upheld the decision of the 19th Judicial District Court that the program’s funding mechanism was unconstitutional. Thankfully, Gov. Bobby Jindal was able to find close to $40 million elsewhere in the state budget to pay for the program for almost all of the 8,000 students in the program this school year.
Gov. Jindal blasted the president and Attorney General Eric Holder for their actions saying, “This is shameful. President Obama and Attorney General Holder are trying to keep kids trapped in failing public schools against the wishes of their parents.”
President Obama has a history of denying low-income students (a majority of them minorities) the ability to escape failing public schools and choose a better school. Upon arriving in the White House, the president took quick action to end the D.C. Public Schools voucher program that enabled low-income black students in the city to attend prestigious private schools, including the very same school his daughters attend. Thankfully, his attempt failed and the program is still in place.
The president and his Justice Department have their priorities backwards here. If racism is at all an issue, denying these low-income black students the chance at a brighter future through a good education is what is racist. Gov. Jindal is right, this is utterly shameful. To promote their own progressive agenda, the president and his administration are hurting the very children they claim they want to protect.
A hearing date is tentatively set for mid-September.