MEDIA ADVISORY: LOUISIANA FAMILIES ASK JUDGE TO DISMISS OBAMA ADMINISTRATION’S CHALLENGE TO SCHOOL VOUCHER PROGRAM
Case has implications for more than 200 districts across U.S.
Event: News conference featuring families and attorneys at the time of filing motion to intervene in Brumfield v. Dodd, case
Location: Hale Boggs Federal Courthouse, 500 Poydras St, New Orleans LA
Participants: Clint Bolick, Goldwater Institute Vice President for Litigation; Eric Lewis, Louisiana Black Alliance for Educational Options; Ann Duplessis, Louisiana Federation for Children President; Louisiana families opposing DOJ action
Time: 10:30am, Tuesday, September 24
New Orleans, LA— Represented by the Goldwater Institute, four Louisiana families, as well as a network of thousands of families across the state, are asking a federal district court judge to dismiss a recent challenge by the Department of Justice against the Louisiana Scholarship Program. They are also asking the court to allow them to join the state in defending the school choice program.
The request comes just weeks after the Department of Justice asked a federal court to block the voucher program in any of Louisiana’s 22 parishes that remain under federal desegregation orders. According the Obama administration, school vouchers “impede the desegregation process.” 91 percent of voucher program students are minority children.
In a motion for intervention to be filed Tuesday, Louisiana families as well as the Louisiana Black Alliance for Educational Options point out that improved educational opportunities were among the chief reasons for federal desegregation actions in the first place. As the highest court declared in Brown v. Board of Education, the central concern of desegregation is educational opportunities, for “it is doubtful that any child may reasonably be expected to succeed in life if he is denied the opportunity of an education.”
Numerous studies have indicated that students in school choice programs attend as integrated—or even more integrated—schools than their public schools counterparts. Louisiana was among three states rated for doing the best at shrinking the white-black achievement gap in 2012, based on national assessment standards.
The families are represented by Clint Bolick, Vice President of Litigation at the Goldwater Institute, and local counsel Murphy Bell. Bolick, a founder of the Institute for Justice, served in the Department of Justice Civil Rights Division during the Reagan administration was awarded a merit commendation for his work. He also has defended school choice programs around the country, culminating in a U.S. Supreme Court victory upholding school vouchers in Cleveland in 2002.
Federal desegregation orders remain in effect in over 200 school districts throughout the country. If the Department of Justice succeeds in blocking the voucher program, it could thwart voucher programs, charter school access and other school choice opportunities across the U.S.
“It is perverse that an order designed to secure educational opportunities for black children is being wielded to destroy those opportunities,” said Bolick. “We will fight vigorously to defend the right of Louisiana children to pursue high-quality educational opportunities.”
To schedule an interview with Clint Bolick or families opposing the DOJ’s action, please call Charles Siler with the Goldwater Institute at (602) 633-8960 or firstname.lastname@example.org. The Goldwater Institute has an in-house VideoLink studio for rapid cable hook-up if needed.