Judge Blocks Louisiana School Voucher Implementation In Parish

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A federal judge on Monday in New Orleans halted the implementation of Louisiana’s school voucher system in one of the state’s parishes.

The New Orleans Times-Picayune reported that U.S. District Court Judge Ivan L.R. Lemelle ruled that the state legislature’s expansion of the voucher system could not be implemented in Tangipahoa Parish due to decades-old desegregation orders. Such orders exist in nearly half of the state’s parishes. According to Lemelle, the voucher program would interfere with prior court orders on constructing new schools, improving existing facilities, and maintaining magnet facilities.

Louisiana’s voucher system has come under recent fire for questionable standards and the use of public funds in schools that teach creationism. Louisiana Superintendent of Education John White said Lemelle’s ruling would be appealed. Monday’s ruling will have no effect on another lawsuit challenging the voucher system, put forth by Louisiana school boards and teachers’ associations, that was scheduled to begin trial on Wednesday.

Correction: This post has been updated to show a lawsuit challenging the voucher system was scheduled to begin trial on Wednesday. A previous version incorrectly said the lawsuit would be decided that day.

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